Pain or stiffness in your neck, shoulders, wrists, and fingers is pretty common when you work with your hands as your profession or hobby. These stretches and exercises should help relieve the pain and stiffness.
We will start with a trap stretch. Place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.
Next, you will stretch your forearm muscles for you wrists and arms. These will hopefully feel really good. Start off with your arm straight out in front of you. Bring your wrists upward to stretch your wrist flexors. If you need more of a stretch, push up with the other hand. Now bring your wrists downward or into flexion to stretch the wrist extensors. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and do them three times each.
Now you will stretch your thumb extensor muscles. Keep your arm straight out in front of you, and with your thumb facing toward the ceiling, tuck it down into your palm with your fingers over your thumb. Then push your fist downward into radial deviation until you feel a stretch on the top of your thumb. Hold that stretch for 30 seconds and do it three times, or you can do a continuous motion 15 times. You can stretch the thumb flexors by sticking your thumb up, and pulling back gently with your other hand.
Then you can stretch the webbing of your fingers by spreading your fingers apart with your other hand. You don’t have to hold these for very long because there are so many spaces to stretch.
Take a rubber band and put it around all of your fingers. You can push just your thumb outwards or all of your fingers outwards. Start with 10 and then work your way up.
The next exercise might take some creative work. Get a stick or broom handle, and tie a small weight around the stick with about 1-2 feet of rope hanging. Then put the stick out in front of you, and use your hands to rotated the stick to bring the weight up, and the rotate it the opposite way to bring the weight back down. Start off with only two roll ups each way.
The last stretches are called pendulums. Use a chair or counter top, and lean over so your arm hangs down towards the ground. Move your body, not your arm in circles so your arm swings around like a pendulum. You can also rock front to back and side to side. Add a small weight in your hand to open up the joint space while doing these stretches.