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An Instant Trick to Relieve Wrist Pain From a Physical Therapist

Try this simple solution to feel better in seconds.

Having a pain or injury—even one that feels minor in the grand scheme of things—can interfere with your ability to stay physically active. Wrist pain, for example, can crop up any time you need to flex your dexterity, making everyday tasks uncomfortable. However, Julie Pitois, LMT, CAMTC, a physical therapist and president of PRO TO COL Sport Systems, says there's an easy trick to eliminate wrist pain when it's got one particular root cause. Here's how to fix your wrist pain in seconds, using her simple stretching technique.

RELATED: 25 Common Pains You Should Never Ignore.

Wrist pain is a common problem.

Woman using wrist immobiliser after hand's injury

When people experience wrist pain, it's most often caused either by an acute injury or an underlying health condition.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, pain from injury typically comes on suddenly and is often the result of overuse, sprains, falls, bone fracture, or pinched nerves. Meanwhile, wrist pain caused by health conditions tends to "build up over time." This can occur due to carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist tendinitis, bursitis, wrist arthritis, ganglion cysts, or other causes.

One common cause is that the carpal bones are out of place.

man sitting at home holding his left arm wrist due to pain caused by osteoarthritis, arthritis, tendonitis, rheumatism.

In a recent Instagram post, Pitois shared that one common cause of wrist pain is when the carpal bones move out of place.

"I had a client come in and she's been doing a lot of yoga for a yoga practice, and every time she goes into doing a downward facing dog, she gets a pain right here in her wrist," Pitois says, holding the arm of a model skeleton.

"In the wrist in particular you have these eight tiny carpal bones that go through here, and they move independently of one another," she explains, pointing to the bones that adjoin the wrist and the back of the hand. If you try to go into a wrist extension, these bones can move out of place, making the movement extremely painful, Pitois warns.

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People often misunderstand the source of their pain.

Dermatologist looking at woman's wrist

Because there are many possible explanations for wrist pain, it's not uncommon for people to misunderstand why it has occurred. In fact, Pitois says that all too often, people make the problem worse by attempting to treat the wrong malady.

"People will stretch the heck out of it thinking that it's a flexibility issue, but it's actually a joint mobility issue," the physical therapist says.

Pitois has an easy trick for eliminating wrist pain.

Woman holding wrist from pain

The good news? Pitois says there's a simple trick that can help you fix the problem.

Start by wrapping your thumb and forefinger from the opposite hand around the bones of the affected wrist. "You shouldn't feel numbness or tingling in your fingers; you're just holding them straight so they don't get to move," she says. Keeping your fingers on the injured hand straight, rotate your wrist in three big circles going in one direction, then three more circles going in the other direction.

"What you're going to feel, potentially, is popping and clicking. What that is is the carpal bones moving back into place," she notes.

RELATED: 8 Simple Exercises That Will Make Your Joints Feel Better.

It's already helping people feel better.

middle age caucasian woman doing yoga

Katie Notopoulos, a senior correspondent for Insider, recently endorsed Pitois' approach on X, formerly known as Twitter. "I've never been able to do yoga because any move that puts weight on my wrist is incredibly painful. Then, yesterday I was served this Reel and…. it fixed it???? I'm literally cured… by Instagram????" she wrote in the post, which has so far garnered 4.3 million views in two weeks.

However, experts add that you should make an appointment to see a doctor if your pain persists. "Most cases of wrist pain are mild and will go away on their own with rest and at-home treatment," says the Cleveland Clinic. "Visit a healthcare provider if you're experiencing wrist pain that doesn't go away in a few days, or if the pain is getting worse."

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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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