Step away from your computer. Since long hours hunched over your keyboard may lead to numbness, weakness, or pain in your wrist, arms, and hands, aka carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), you need to take breaks and stretch.
Studies show that yoga poses designed for stretching the upper body reduce pain and improve grip strength in CTS sufferers.
So take back your finger flexion and release your wrists with two stretches from Timothy McCall, M.D., author of Yoga As Medicine (2007, Bantam), who reminds us that “how much tension you hold in the muscles of the neck, chest, shoulders, and arms, as well as how relaxed you are, can have a profound effect on the wrists.”
Facing a counter-top or desk, stand an arm length away, with your feet forward and hip distance apart.
Relax your shoulders back and down, and elongate your neck.
With an exhalation, fold at the hips (not from the waist), and reach your arms onto the surface in front of you. Your hands should be flat on the table, wrists flush with the edge, keeping your ears in line with your biceps.
Lengthen the sides of your body, and imagine that the distance between the top of your head and your tailbone is increasing.
Stay for 8 to 10 breaths. Sink Pull Stand with your back to sink, and place your fingers but not the thumb inside the front edge. Your feet are parallel, about one foot apart.
As you inhale, arch gently from the upper back, allowing your hips to come slightly forward. Be sure not to allow the arch to come from the lower back, as this can cause pain. Instead focus on bringing your shoulder blades down and in to open the upper back.
Allow your head to drop slightly back, and look up.
Stay for 8 to 10 breaths, feeling your chest opening with each inhalation.