Most hand and wrist injuries happen during the course of a fall. We reach out to stop ourselves from falling by instinct. Sometimes wrist, finger and hand injuries can occur. You can strengthen your hands, wrists and fingers to help prevent injury or speed recovery from an injury. If you have suffered an injury, see your doctor and talk to him or her about some gentle exercises. Start with simple exercises and progress slowly to avoid exacerbating a finger, hand or wrist injury. If you haven’t injured yourself, regular exercise should help to increase flexibility and strength to reduce the chances of an injury.

To increase wrist flexibility, begin with the prayer stretch exercise. Stand up straight and press your palms together in front of your chest. Keep your fingers close together. Slowly lower your hands until you feel the muscles and tendons in your wrist begin to stretch. Don’t force your hands down and stop if you feel pain. You should feel a gentle tugging pressure. Hold this position for up to 5 seconds and then relax. As your strength and flexibility increases, add to the length of time you hold the position.

Flexing and extending your wrist is one of the best ways to increase the up and down range of motion in the wrist. Rest your arm on a table beside a chair and allow your hand to hang over the edge of the table. Bend your wrist down toward the floor until you feel the muscles and tendons begin to stretch. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then raise your hand straight up toward the ceiling until you feel the stretch and hold this position for 5 seconds. Keep your fingers close together during this exercise. Repeat this exercise with the other hand.

Increase side-to-side range of motion rotating the wrist left and right. Sit up straight in a chair and allow your arm to hang over the arm of the chair or rest your forearm on a table with your arm hanging off the side. Turn your hand at the wrist to the left until you feel the muscles pulling slightly. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then turn your wrist to the right and hold it for 5 seconds. Gradually increase the range of motion and time you hold the exercise position as your flexibility increases.

Don’t forget to exercise your fingers. People who do a lot of typing like data entry clerks and writers often experience sore, stiff and tired fingers. Perform finger exercises anytime your fingers begin to feel tired or tight. Sit up straight in your chair. Hold your hands straight out in front of you, but do not lock your elbows. Open your hand and spread your fingers as far apart as possible for at least 5 seconds. Next, close your fingers into a tight fist and hold for 5 seconds.