Our hands are made up of diverse networks of blood vessels, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and nerves. The nerves are perhaps the most important of all, because our nerves allow us to use our hands to feel, touch and most importantly, trigger movement so we can go on with our activities of daily living.
Today, computers play an integral part in our jobs and personal lives. It’s impossible to work without using our hands, and the long hours spent punching a keyboard can lead to aching hands. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with the pain you are experiencing.
Hand activities for people who use keyboards and mouse on large portions of the day have shown to have many benefits. Some of them include: relieving pain and discomfort, activating blood circulation, and releasing muscle cramps, tension, and mental blocks.
Here are some effective hand exercises you can do on a regular basis if you spend a lot of time typing or using your mouse:
1. Shake it out
Shake your hands as if you are air drying them after washing them off. Shaking the wrist and hands out after sitting in the same place for a while is a perfect way to reintroduce blood flow and relieve sore joints
2. Wrist stretches
With your arm fully extended, palm facing forward, use your other hand to pull your fingers back gently towards you. Count 5 to 10 seconds before release. The basic wrist stretch is an excellent way to alleviate stiff joints in the wrist, especially after long days of typing and writing.
3. Thumb touches
Hold your hands outwards with your palms facing the ceiling. With your hand, slowly bring your thumb to touch the tip of every finger. This will help increase coordination in the thumb and forefingers, and also help to reintroduce blood flow back to the area
4. Thumb flex and extension
Begin with your hands out in front of you and with your palms facing forward. Slowly extend the thumb across the palm until you feel a stretch. And then, hold this stretch for ten seconds, then release back to the starting position. This is a great way to target the thumb specifically, which can grow stiff during long work days.
5. Grip Strengthening
Strengthening your grip is an excellent way to increase your overall hand and forearm strength. Grip strengthening can be done by holding a hand gripper or stress ball. Squeeze and release the gripper using all four fingers and thumb in rapid succession.
The normal range of motion for our wrist is 60 degrees of extension and flexion. Stretching is an important part of any healthy routine which can help to maintain our range of motion, increase your body’s circulation, thereby helping us with movement and mobility.