How to Relieve Hand & Wrist Pain

Doctor examining a man wrist
A doctor with a male patient examining his wrist that is in a brace. (Image: 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images)

Wrist and hand pain often result from a wrist injury or completing the same motions over and over again. Everyone from the professional who uses computers on a daily basis to the construction worker who uses vibrating machines is susceptible to hand and wrist pain. Wrist and hand pain can be attributed to swelling and pressure on the carpal tunnel that houses the median nerve that runs up the center of the wrist and into the hand. Taking frequent breaks and strengthening your wrists can help reduce your pain.

Step 1

Switch positions and take frequent breaks. When you're typing on the computer, your wrists are forced into the same position. Set a timer and take breaks every 30 minutes while you shake out your hands and rest for a moment before getting back to work. This can also help relieve the tingly sensation that can sometimes accompany wrist pain.

Step 2

Stretch your wrists and hands when you notice pain. They could simply be cramped. Hold your hands out in front of you with your hands in fists. Slowly twist your hands together and then twist them apart to feel a stretch in the wrists. Then, open your hands and use the fingers of one hand to slowly pull back the fingers of the other hand for a good stretch in your finger tendons.

Step 3

Apply an ice pack to an injured or swollen hand. Swelling can put excess pressure on the tendons and nerves in your hand, resulting in pain and other unpleasant sensations. Place a few ice cubes in a plastic sandwich bag and apply to your swelling. Once you're done, apply a compression bandage to help stabilize your hand and wrist and reduce swelling in the future.

Step 4

Exercise your hands and wrists in the same way that you would exercise the other muscles in your body. With stronger hands and wrists, you'll likely experience less pain due to overuse and the same activities. Try looping a resistance band under your foot while in a standing position. Grasp the ends of the band with one hand and pull them taut. With your elbow at a 90-degree angle from your body, pull upward with the wrist only to extend the band upward and release, suggests the PhysioAdvisor.com website. Complete three sets of 10.

Step 5

Take over-the-counter pain medication when you experience pain. Not only will the painkillers help you manage the pain, but they can also help relieve some of the swelling and inflammation associated with your pain. Just ensure that you follow all dosing instructions on the packaging. If your wrist pain doesn't improve, see your doctor for a checkup and treatment options.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice

  • Compression bandage

  • Painkillers

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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