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Simple Exercises To Prevent Computer-Related  Injuries

Simple Exercises to Prevent Computer-Related Injuries

Many people work on their computers, forcing them to sit at a desk for hours. However, this simple task can be harmful to one’s health and well-being. Overexertion is the most common injury among office or remote workers. Typing on a keyboard, moving a mouse, and other repetitive movements can strain the body and cause a computer-related injury.

Computer-related injuries come in different forms. They could range from mild strains to serious conditions, and most of them are a result of prolonged computer use. But in some cases, they can stem from having a messy workspace, poor posture, cramped furniture, and other bad desk habits. If you’re dealing with a computer-related injury, you might feel muscle spasms, pain or discomfort typically in the upper limbs or hips, headaches, and other symptoms.

Fortunately, you can avoid an injury with exercise. Here are some simple exercises that’ll help you prevent any repetitive strain injury while using your computer.

Hand Exercises

If you’re always on your computer, hand exercises might help you avoid or manage acute hand injuries. Let’s look at several exercises you can do at work.

Fist to Hand

The fist-to-hand exercise stretches your hand for less tense joints and muscles.

  1. Put your hands in front of you, with your palms down.
  2. Turn your hands into fists.
  3. Open your fist halfway, keeping your fingers bent at your knuckles. Hold for two seconds.
  4. Open your fist completely. Make sure all your fingers are straight and apart. Then, hold for two seconds.
  5. Repeat the last three steps.
  6. Repeat the exercise five times.

Thumb Touches

With thumb touches, you can achieve more flexible thumbs and forefingers. Plus, these exercises will allow your blood flow back to your fingers.

  1. Hold your hands outwards, with your palms facing upwards.
  2. Let your right thumb touch every fingertip.
  3. Do the previous step with your left thumb.
  4. Put your thumbs back into their original position.
  5. Repeat the exercise five times.

Thumb Flexion & Extension

Flexing and stretching a painful thumb from lengthy work days will help it relax.

  1. Put your hands out in front of you, with the palms facing outwards.
  2. Extend your thumb across your palm. You should feel your thumb stretch afterward.
  3. Hold the stretch for ten seconds.
  4. Bring your thumb back to its initial position.
  5. Repeat ten times. Do the exercise with both of your hands.

Wrist Flexion & Extension with One Hand

This exercise targets either of your wrists. Extending your wrist lets blood flow into it and helps prevent computer-related injuries.

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your arm at the edge of your desk. Make sure your palm faces down and your hand bends off your desk.
  3. Give your hand a gentle stretch at your wrist. Extend it up to the ceiling until it stretches.
  4. Hold the stretch for fifteen seconds.
  5. Bring your hand back to its initial position.
  6. Give your hand another gentle stretch at your wrist. Extend it down to the floor until it stretches.
  7. Repeat the previous steps three times with your hand.
  8. Repeat the exercise with your other hand.

Grip Strengthening Exercise

Grip strengthening exercises lead to stronger hands, forearms, and wrist muscles. They also keep repetitive stress injuries from occurring in your wrist’s muscles.

  1. Sit and rest your right arm on your table for support.
  2. Hold a hand gripper with your right hand.
  3. Squeeze and release the gripper quickly with all of your fingers.
  4. Repeat the previous steps at least 10 to 15 times. You should feel the stretch under your forearm as you use the gripper.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your other hand.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common computer-related injuries. Here are some exercises to help you prevent or manage this injury.

Hand & Wrist Shake

Shaking your hands and wrists will get your blood flowing and relax your muscles.

  1. Put your hands in front of you, with your palms facing the floor.
  2. Constrict your wrist, then shake your hands slowly.
  3. Keep shaking your hands and wrists for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Repeat up to three times.

Basic Wrist Stretch

Stretching your wrist is perfect for easing joint pain within the area. You can perform this exercise if your wrist’s joints hurt from typing and writing all day.

  1. Put your right hand in front of you, with the palm up.
  2. Have your left hand hold your right fingers.
  3. Give your right fingers a gentle pull down to the floor. Hold for ten seconds.
  4. Put your right hand back to the starting position.
  5. Do the previous steps with your left hand.
  6. Repeat the exercise five times.

Tendon Gliding

This exercise involves finger and hand motions in various positions. Remember to do it slowly and smoothly so your hand won’t hurt.

  1. Bend your elbow and straighten your wrist.
  2. Bring your fingers together and point them towards the ceiling. Then, relax your thumb.
  3. Curl your fingers inward. This step keeps them bent at the middle knuckles, with your fingertips on your palm.
  4. Form an L-shape by straightening your fingers. Keep your thumb relaxed as you do this step.
  5. Fold your fingers straight down. Your fingertips should touch your palm with this step.
  6. Curl your fingers into a fist.
  7. Repeat the exercise ten times.

Nerve Gliding

The nerve gliding exercise also requires gradual, smooth movements through different positions.

  1. Bend your elbow and make a fist. Make sure the fist faces you, with your wrist neutral.
  2. Straighten your fingers so they point up, with your wrist neutral. You should also tuck your thumb in and have it point up.
  3. Bend your wrist so your fingertips extend out from your position. Keep your thumb close to your fingers.
  4. Extend your thumb out to the side. Hold with your forearm away from you.
  5. Give your thumb a gentle pull downwards with your other hand. Do it for five seconds.
  6. Repeat the exercise three to five times.

Spider Push-Ups

Spider push-ups give your palmar fascia, carpal tunnel, and median nerve a much-needed stretch.

  1. Clasp your hands as if you’re praying.
  2. Extend your fingers out to the farthest distance.
  3. Separate your palms while keeping your fingers together. This step lets you form a “steeple.”

Tennis Elbow Exercises

Injuring your forearm’s tendons leads to tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. Relieve discomfort and lower your risk of re-injury with any of the exercises below.

Wrist Turn

As its name suggests, this exercise lets you rotate your wrist.

  1. Bend your elbow at a right angle.
  2. Extend your wrist out in front of you. Have your palms face upwards.
  3. Do a slow turn of your wrist. Rotate until your palm faces down.
  4. Hold the position for five seconds.
  5. Repeat the exercise nine times.

Wrist Lift

For this exercise, you’ll need a small dumbbell or another light weight.

  1. Hold your light weight with your hand.
  2. Bend your elbow at a right angle.
  3. Extend your hand away from you, with your palm facing upwards.
  4. Bend your wrist up towards you. Hold for five seconds, then release slowly.
  5. Repeat the exercise nine times.

Elbow Bend

This tennis elbow exercise targets your elbow.

  1. Stand straight.
  2. Lower your arm to one side.
  3. Bend your arm upwards. Do it slowly until your hand touches your shoulder.
  4. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat the exercise nine times.

Fist Squeeze

We suggest doing this next exercise with a rolled-up towel or sock. You can also use a tennis ball.

  1. Put the towel, sock, or ball in your palm.
  2. Hold any of the items with your fingers. This step forms a fist.
  3. Do a tight squeeze for ten seconds.
  4. Repeat the exercise nine times.

Towel Twist

To do this exercise, you’ll need a loosely rolled-up towel.

  1. Hold the towel lengthways. Grip each end with both hands.
  2. Relax your shoulders.
  3. Twist the towel like you’re drying it.
  4. Repeat the exercise nine times.
  5. Do ten more repetitions, but with your hands twisting the towel in reverse.

Computer Back Pain Exercises

Working on your computer for too long can also put you at risk for back pain. The following exercises will help you ease computer back pain.

Upper Back Stretches

Including arm and upper back muscle stretches in your daily work routine is a good idea. Here are some exercises to help you strengthen your upper back.

Neck Rolls

  1. Sit upright. Relax your shoulders, with your hands on your lap.
  2. Lean your right ear over your right shoulder. Do this step carefully.
  3. Move your chin slowly. Let it drop toward your chest.
  4. Bring your head upwards until your left ear goes over your left shoulder.
  5. Give your head a gentle roll towards your right shoulder.
  6. Repeat the exercise five to ten times. Make sure your rolls go in each direction.

Butterfly Wings

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Touch your elbows with your fingertips. Do this with your elbows pointing out to the sides.
  3. Exhale and pull your elbows together in front of you. Make a slow pull until your elbows touch each other.
  4. Inhale, then let your arms return to the initial position.

Lower Back Stretches

You might also want to keep lower back pain away with stretching exercises. Let’s look at two exercises that you can do for your lower back.

Seated Forward Fold Stretch

  1. Sit in a chair. Keep your knees together and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Breathe. Then, round your shoulders and slowly bend forward.
  3. Let your head drop completely and your arms fall naturally sideways. Hold for three seconds.
  4. Go slow as you come back to the starting position.

Standing Back Bend Stretch

  1. Stand upright. Slightly spread your feet apart from each other.
  2. Put your hands on your lower back. Interlace your fingers and have your index finger point down.
  3. Push down into your feet, raise your knees, and tighten your thighs and back.
  4. Roll your shoulders back and bend your spine. You can also extend your arms down and drop your head back.
  5. Hold for five seconds.
  6. Inhale to raise your torso, head, and neck. This step helps you go back to your initial position.
  7. Repeat two to three times.

Manage a Computer-Related Injury with LifeClinic’s Help

Repetitive stress injuries from using a computer can affect your work and other activities. But with proper care, you can continue working and stay healthy. LifeClinic lets you treat a computer-related injury through chiropractic care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Schedule a consultation at any LifeClinic location today to start your recovery.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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