Try these 5 PT exercises to relieve wrist pain from typing

Are you one of the countless individuals who spend hours each day typing away at a keyboard? Typing can be a great asset in our modern, digital world. However, for many people it can come at the cost of wrist pain. This discomfort can range from a dull ache to a sharp pang. It can significantly impact your productivity and daily life. Thankfully, there are effective solutions and exercises to help relieve your pain and help prevent further strain. Physical therapy can help you combat wrist pain from typing by using targeted exercises to help stretch and strengthen your arms and wrists. You can also incorporate ergonomic adjustments into your workstation to help you regain comfort and mobility in your hands and wrists. Whether you’re a professional constantly at a computer or simply seeking a break from the discomfort, these methods can help you on your path to renewed comfort and productivity. 

How to relieve wrist pain from typing

The good news is that wrist pain from typing can respond well to self-care or other conservative strategies. Some steps you can take to find relief from wrist pain include:

  • Take breaks — Every now and then, take the time to step away from the keyboard and stretch your hands and wrists. 
  • Maintain proper postureMake sure to keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and your wrists straight while typing.
  • Invest in ergonomics — Consider investing in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to help promote a more comfortable typing position.
  • Apply ice — For acute wrist pain, you can apply ice packs to your wrists for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Take medication — Over-the-counter pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can offer you temporary relief from inflammation and pain.
  • Go to physical therapy — Physical therapy can be a highly effective approach to help relieve wrist pain from typing. Treatments can incorporate a combination of manual techniques, therapeutic exercises and ergonomic assessments to help alleviate discomfort and improve wrist function. 

Physical therapy exercises for wrist pain from typing

Regularly doing physical therapy exercises can improve your wrist strength, flexibility and range of motion. This can help alleviate pain and prevent future problems. Your physical therapist can guide you on how many times to repeat and how often you should do these exercises. Exercises you can incorporate into your management plan include:

  • Wrist flexion and extension — With your forearm resting on a table, extend your hand, palm down, beyond the edge. Gently bend your wrist and bring your hand up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a moment and then slowly lower it back down. You can also do this exercise with both hands, and with your palm facing upward. To increase the difficulty, hold a light weight in your hand as you do the exercise.
  • Wrist deviation stretches — Extend one arm out straight in front of you with the palm facing up. With your other hand, gently pull your fingers down toward the floor. This will stretch the top of your forearm. Hold this position for several seconds and then release. Repeat this stretch on the other side. You can also do this stretch with your palm facing down to stretch the underside of your forearm. For added difficulty, you can use a resistance band. Loop the band around your hand with your palm facing up and then pull your fingers down against the resistance.
  • Wrist strengthening — Make a fist with one hand and place it on a flat surface. Gently press your palm down against the table. Hold for several seconds and then relax. Do this exercise with both hands. You can also do this exercise with your fingers spread wide apart. As a variation, you can use a therapy putty ball to squeeze and strengthen your grip.
  • Wrist circles — Extend your arm out straight with your palm facing down. Make small circles with your wrist. Go in a clockwise direction first and then go in a counterclockwise motion. 
  • Finger flexion and extension — Make a fist with your hand and then slowly extend your fingers as wide as possible. Hold your fingers wide for a few seconds and then return to a fist. To add resistance to the exercise, place a rubber band around your fingers and spread them apart against the resistance. 

It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the repetitions as guided by your physical therapist as your pain improves. If any exercises cause you significant discomfort, stop immediately and let your physical therapist know. Your physical therapist can provide you with personalized guidance and additional exercises tailored to your specific needs. They can evaluate how you are doing the exercises to ensure that you’re doing them correctly and safely and adjust as needed.

Causes of wrist pain from typing

Several factors can be behind your wrist pain from typing:

  • Constant typing motions can strain the muscles and tendons in your wrist. 
  • Slouching or hunching over while you’re typing can put extra stress on your wrists.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the median nerve in your wrist becomes compressed. It causes pain, numbness and tingling.
  • Tendinitis is caused by the tendons in your wrist becoming inflamed. Inflammation can be triggered by excessive typing. 

Take control of your wrist health with physical therapy at Lattimore PT

At Lattimore Physical Therapy, we understand the frustration and limitations wrist pain can cause. Our team of experienced physical therapists is dedicated to providing you with comprehensive and personal care to help you on your road to recovery. We’ll create a tailored treatment plan that meets your needs and goals and addresses the root cause of your pain, not just the symptoms. Our team uses a variety of techniques to help improve your flexibility, reduce pain and build stronger wrists to prevent future injuries. We are committed to creating a supportive environment that helps get you back to typing in comfort. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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