Hand Exercises to alleviate Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) - Jon Miller - Certified Personal Trainer American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) also known as occupational overuse syndrome is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), or sustained or awkward positions
What is repetitive strain injury?
The term repetitive strain injury (RSI) is used to describe a range of painful conditions of the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. It is mainly caused by repetitive use of part of the body. It is usually related to a job or occupation, that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), or sustained or awkward positions.
Symptoms can include: pain, tightness, dull ache, throbbing, numbness, or tingling in the affected area. The symptoms tend to develop gradually. At first the symptoms may only occur whilst you do the repetitive task and ease off when you rest. In time the symptoms can be present all the time, but tend to be made worse by doing the repetitive task. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Consult a physician or your medical practitioner before you undertake any regime of exercise. You can make changes to your working environment and how you work by examining what you do and how you do it, and modifying the activity causing the problem. If you can, carry on working but reduce the amount of time you spend on the activity that causes the pain. If you can't stop doing it completely, take regular short breaks to stretch and flex your arms and hands.
The key to recovery from an injury is to know your limitations without exceeding them. Any form of exercise that doesn’t include excess will help and should be done under professional supervision
Make a Fist
You can do this easy exercise anywhere, and any time your hand feels stiff. Start by holding your left hand up straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Be gentle—don’t squeeze your hand. Open your hand back up until your fingers are straight once again. Do the exercise 10 times with the left hand. Then repeat the whole sequence with the right hand.
Start in the same position as in the last exercise, with your left hand held up straight. Bend your thumb down toward your palm. Hold it for a couple of seconds. Straighten your thumb back up.
Then bend your index finger down toward your palm. Hold it for a couple of seconds. Then straighten it. Repeat with each finger on the left hand. Then repeat the entire sequence on the right hand.
7 Hand Exercises to Ease Painful Hands
First, hold your left hand up straight. Then, bend your thumb inward toward your palm. Stretch for the bottom of your pinky finger with your thumb. If you can’t reach your pinky, don’t worry. Just stretch your thumb as far as you can. Hold the position for a second or two, and then return your thumb to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Then do the exercise with your right hand.
Make an “O”
Start with your left hand pointing straight up. Then, curve all of your fingers inward until they touch. Your fingers should form the shape of an “O.” Hold this position for a few seconds. Then straighten your fingers again. Repeat this exercise a few times a day on each hand. You can do this stretch whenever your hands feel achy or stiff
Place the pinky-side edge of your left hand on a table, with your thumb pointed up. Holding your thumb in the same position, bend the other four fingers inward until your hand makes an “L” shape. Hold it for a couple of seconds, and then straighten your fingers to move them back into the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and then do the same sequence on the right hand.
Place your left hand flat on a table, palm down. Starting with your thumb, lift each finger slowly off the table—one at a time. Hold each finger for a second or two, and then lower it. Do the same exercise with every finger of the left hand. After you’re done with the left hand, repeat the entire sequence on the right hand
Don’t forget about your wrists, which can also get sore and stiff from arthritis. To exercise your wrist, hold your right arm out with the palm facing down. With your left hand, gently press down on the right hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and arm. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times. Then, do the entire sequence with the left hand.
Stand with palms together and elbows out. Slowly lower wrists until a stretch is felt, hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.
With arm resting on table and hand hanging off the table, bend wrist down until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position. Bend wrist up until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.
With arm resting on table and hand hanging off the table, slowly turn hand to side. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position. Turn hand to other side. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.
Extend fingers open as far as possible. Hold for 5 seconds. Make a fist as tight as possible. Hold for 5 seconds.
Wrist Flexor Stretch
With arm resting on table and hand hanging off table and elbow straight, slowly grab injured hand and slowly bend wrist up until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to starting position.
Wrist Extensor Stretch
With arm resting on a table and hand hanging off the table and elbow straight, slowly grab the injured hand and slowly bend the wrist down until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return to the starting position.
With resting arm next to body, palm out and sown in front, turn hands up until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly turn hand down until a stretch is felt. Hold for 5 seconds and return to starting position
Wrist Stretch Exercise
With hand open and facing down, move wrist from side to side, until stretch is felt at each extreme.Hold each for slow count of 10.
Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may involve a combination of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. Over-the-counter analgesics, including no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen), are taken orally to reduce stiffness, swelling, and inflammation and to ease mild to moderate low back pain.
Patients should always check with a doctor before taking drugs for pain relief. Certain medicines, even those sold over the counter, may conflict with other medications, may cause side effects including drowsiness, or may lead to liver damage.
1. WebMD - http://www.webmd.com
2. Relieve Back Pain With Core Strength Training, by Gina Shaw and Michael W. Smith, MD
3. ACE Kick-Start Workout - http://www.acefitness.org/article/2850
4. Various articles and newsletters, American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Exercises to alleviate Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), by Jon Miller - Certified Personal Trainer American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Copyright © 2002-2013, TOGWT ™ Ltd (Established 1980) all rights reserved