Smartphones and computers can cause pain in hands, fingers and wrists due to repetitive use
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Spend long hours with your fingers trapped in computers and smartphones can be harmful to the health of your hands and wrists. Repetitive and long-term movements coupled with incorrect alignment of the wrists and fingers can compress the median nerve, causing problems in this region, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms range from tingling and pain to weakness in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. Therefore, if you are on the team that does not detach from your cell phone for a single minute, it is important to keep your hands and wrists flexible and strong.
Stretching and exercising on these parts of the body regularly can help reduce the risk of injury, prevent and relieve discomfort. Here are some simple stretches that can help.
Exercises to stretch the hands
1. Finger stretching
Extend your right arm in front of your body, your palm facing away from you and your fingers facing down. Start with the little finger moving towards the thumb. Gently massage each finger (one at a time) from the base to the tip. Hold the tip of each finger and bring it towards your chest for a gentle stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds on each finger and then do the other hand. Throughout this exercise, stretch your palm forward and spread your fingers apart.
2. Wrist stretching with one arm
Stretch your right arm out in front of you, your palm facing away from you and your fingers pointing down. Keep your shoulder low and relaxed. Hold the tips of the four fingers with your left hand and pull them towards your chest. Hold from 30 seconds to a minute and release. Then turn your hand over so that the palm is facing you with your fingers still pointing down. Now, hold the four fingers with your left hand and point your fingertips towards your body to stretch the top of your wrist. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat with your left hand.
3. Finger-wrist-shoulder stretch
Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you with your palms facing away from you. Focus on stretching the inside of your elbows while keeping your shoulders pressed. Hold this position for about 20 seconds, then extend your hand over your head, your fingers still clasped and your palms facing the sky. Pull your arms back while pressing your shoulders down. You are likely to feel this a longer stretch in your shoulders. Don’t forget to breathe consciously! Do each stretch twice for about 20 to 30 seconds.
4. Relaxing shoulders
Bring the front of your shoulders forward and upward, as if you are trying to pinch your ears with your shoulders. Hold them like this for a moment and then slide your shoulders back and down. Do this movement five times.
5. Stretching the forearm
Stand near a table, low counter, or other surface you can lean on. Place both hands on the table, palms down and fingers pointing at you. Keep your shoulders down and lean your torso slightly back. Try to keep the base of your palms down and slightly bend your elbows toward your body.
Pull your body weight towards your heels so that you lean back and not forward. Hold for 30 seconds and shake your arms. If you are tall, you may have to crouch a little, just focus so that you don’t put too much force on your lower back.
These exercises are designed to strengthen and stretch your wrists, forearms, fingers and shoulders. Respect your flexibility and, if any stretching causes a lot of discomfort, stop and make the necessary adjustments.