Considerations for Wrist Health (Part 1 of 2)

Considerations for Wrist Health (Part 1 of 2)

The Carpal Bones (Wrist Bones)
Nearly every person who lifts weights, practices yoga, trains martial arts, or types at a computer has suffered from wrist pain.  Misalignment of the carpal bones and ligaments leads to a decrease in optimal performance in our professions and athletic endeavors.  

The connection of our vitally important hands to arms has actually eight small carpal bones in two rows.  Ligaments connect the bones, and a number of muscles have attachments on the hand itself and extend in between the hand and the forearm.  

The key to optimizing the function of our wrists and hands is proper alignment starting with the axial skeleton, ribcage, clavicles, shoulder girdle, humerus, elbow, radius, ulna, and of course, the carpal bones.   The forearm is comprised of the radius and ulna and the elbow holds attachments for the forearm flexor and extensor muscles.  The above components greatly influence wrist and hand health, and grip strength.  

Additionally, the shoulders, upper back, and core structure dictate the alignment of the arm bones.  The prevention of misalignment to these anatomic structures is also of paramount importance.  

Some important things to consider throughout your day:
What is the alignment of your bones during your activities?  For example, when you make grips in Jiu-Jitsu, is your wrist aligned with your forearm?  Are you using the larger muscle from your back to maintain the force of the grip versus the smaller arm muscles? 

Another example is arm extended plank position in yoga.  Of course, the wrists are placed below the shoulders, pressure, ideally, is equal throughout all ten knuckles, and focus on the “L” shape of the thumb and second finger helps stabilize the carpal bones. 

Many of us type for hours, every day at a computer.  What is the structural alignment  of your shoulders, upper back, and neck at that time?  Would your wrist alignment benefit from raising or lowering the keyboard?  Many patients with wrist issues benefit from standing desks and/or ergonomic keyboards.  

If you are one of the many individuals with wrist, elbow, shoulder, or upper back pain, Osteopathic Manual Manipulation (OMM) helps optimize the relationship between structure and function, and provides pain relief.  

To learn more about Osteopathic Manual Manipulation, or to schedule an appointment, email Dr. Constanzo at [email protected]

Here are some movements for you to try:
I recommend setting a timer every hour to take a break from typing and incorporate stretches to your workday.  A great stretch to start with is for the shoulders:  inhale, bring your shoulders to your ears, hold, exhale and bring the shoulders down and on your back.  

A great motion for health in the wrists is "circumduction"; imagine making a figure 8 motion with your fingers one direction several times, then reverse it and make a figure 8 in the opposite direction.  

To stretch the wrists in extension, bring your fingers down to the ground while keeping the forearm straight.  The fingers of the other hand can gently press on the palm to encourage further extension. 

For wrist flexion, place the back of one hand on your chest.  The other fingers can wrap around the palm to gently encourage the back of the hand coming more fully to the chest.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - which will include videos of many of the above exercises!


Doctor Constanzo is delighted to join the skilled and knowledgeable team at Catalyst Sport.  

Jasmine Constanzo, D.O., M.S. is board certified in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (NMM).  She graduated residency from an Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) program at St. Barnabas Hospital in 2016.  In 2012, she completed her degree as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Dr. Constanzo has taught at four different medical schools including lecturing and table training.  

Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Constanzo studied Organic Chemistry, and obtained her Master’s of Science (M.S.) from Dartmouth in 2006, and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from Fordham University on scholarship.  Yoga, nutrition, Chinese Medicine, and methods of integrated wellness have been lifetime passions for Dr. Constanzo and she will continue these studies throughout her career.  She has been teaching yoga throughout the country since 2006.  

She has a special clinical and research interest in sports medicine injuries, autism, and autoimmune processes.  

Dr. Constanzo has been studying various forms of martial arts since 2004 including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2006.  She currently trains with Marcelo Garcia in Chelsea.  Her knowledge of structure and function both experiential and academic has particular application for optimization of athletes wanting to achieve peak level performance.  

Dr. Constanzo can be reached for scheduling at [email protected]

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