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Wrist Sprain Exercises

Your healthcare provider may recommend exercises to help you heal. Talk to your healthcare provider or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you and how to do them correctly and safely.

You may do the stretching exercises when the sharp wrist pain goes away. You may do the strengthening exercises when stretching is nearly painless.

Stretching Exercises

  • Wrist range of motion:
    • Flexion and extension: Gently bend your wrist forward and backward. Do 2 sets of 10.
    • Side to side: Gently move your wrist from side to side (a handshake motion). Do 2 sets of 10.
  • Wrist stretch: Press the back of the hand on your injured side with your other hand to help bend your wrist. Hold for 15 seconds. Next, stretch the hand back by pressing the fingers in a backward direction. Hold for 15 seconds. Keep the arm on your injured side straight during this exercise. Do 3 sets.
  • Wrist extension stretch: Stand at a table with your palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Wrist flexion stretch: Stand with the back of your hands on a table, palms facing up, fingers pointing toward your body, and elbows straight. Lean away from the table. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Forearm pronation and supination: Bend the elbow of your injured arm 90 degrees, keeping your elbow at your side. Turn your palm up and hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly turn your palm down and hold for 5 seconds. Make sure you keep your elbow at your side and bent 90 degrees while you do the exercise. Do 2 sets of 10.

    When this exercise becomes pain-free, do it with some weight in your hand such as a soup can or hammer handle.

Strengthening Exercises

  • Wrist flexion: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 10. Increase the weight you use when this exercise is easy to do.
  • Wrist extension: Hold a soup can or small weight in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 2 sets of 10. Gradually increase the weight of the object you are holding.
  • Grip strengthening: Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 3 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10.
Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2022.1 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2016-04-28
Last reviewed: 2019-05-21
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2022 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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