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Doing push-ups after recovering from a wrist injury can be very difficult. Here are some ways you can protect your wrists, including strengthening, range of movement exercises and supports such as “wags”.

For most of us push-ups are a challenge at the best of times, however after a wrist injury they can almost feel impossible to return to! This can be due to a number of reasons, with the most common including reduced movement and strength and pain on weight-bearing. Due to the nature of a push-up, excellent wrist flexibility into extension and weight bearing is required, however don’t despair.

What can a hand therapist do to help?

Strengthening – The delicate wrist complex relies on the forearm muscles for support. In some cases a strengthening program is required to provide stability and control.

Range of movement – After a wrist fracture, ligament injury or cartilage tear, you may have reduced range of movement and flexibility of the wrist. Your hand therapist can provide an exercise program to target the movement which requires improvement.

Supports – Your therapist can show you a range of pre-fabricated or custom made wrist supports such as the “wrist widget” to support the cartilage in the wrist.

Alternatively “wags” gloves can be helpful. These include a foam wedge to reduce the amount of wrist extension required.

Modify position – Strategies to modify your position may include weight bearing through your fists instead of flat palms, or holding onto a dumbbell. You may find it useful to weight-bear onto a rolled up towel. Other options may include performing a modified push-up to allow only partial weight bearing. To perform this, it may be useful to use Zip-60 ropes at a gym or push-up against a railing height and gradually lower the height.

Pain relieving strategies – Using ice, heat or performing specific stretches before and after the exercise may reduce pain and can be recommended by your therapist.

For further advice, specific to your injury please see us at our rooms at Macquarie, Hills Norwest or Pacific Hand Therapy or get in touch with us here. We would be happy to help.