Throughout history, the human race has used tools of various designs and functions to farm, to breed, and to build great civilizations. But these rugged tools pale in comparison to the most complex tool of all – the human hand.
But with all the complexities of the hand, there is one part of your body that's equally as important – the wrist.
Being the bridge between your hand and forearm, the wrist is vital in helping you perform important activities.
While the hand is without a doubt important, it’s the wrist that gives control and movement to the hands.
So in this article, we will be talking about wrist anatomy. We’ll be looking at the different wrist bones, ligaments, nerves, and muscles that make up the wrist anatomy.
Because your wrists are important parts of your body, we’ll also touch on the common injuries, their symptoms, and treatments.
By the end of this article, our goal is for you to have a deeper knowledge and appreciation of your wrist’s anatomy and functions.
You know what they say – it’s all in the wrist!
It’s important to know wrist anatomy because they essentially control the movement of your hands and allow you to do tasks that are necessary for living.
So, having a basic knowledge of wrist anatomy will help you prevent wrist injuries, as well as help you treat them if you get injured.
Wrist anatomy can get a little confusing especially because of all the joints it has. In fact, there is more than one joint in the wrist.
Your wrist is made up of many smaller bones and joints that allow the hand to move in different directions. This also includes the big ends of your forearm bones that connect to the carpal, or wrist, bones.
Let’s take a closer look at it, starting with the wrist bones.
There are a total of eight carpal bones, also known as wrist bones, in your wrist. The wrist bones are small irregular bones that connect the hand to the ends of the forearm bones: the radius and ulna.
These wrist bones are small yet when joined together, they form a strong and mobile unit that allows your hand to move in many directions.
The eight wrist bones are divided into two groups: the proximal and distal carpal row. It’s the proximal carpal rows that connect to the radius and the ulna.
The proximal carpal row includes these bones:
The distal carpal row includes these bones:
Because your wrist contains three primary joints, it’s more mobile compared to other parts of the body that only have one. This allows your wrist and hand to move freely while not giving up stability.
This is what makes wrist anatomy so cool!
The wrist joints allow you to move your hand up and down as well as side to side, giving you control over your surroundings. You're going to have problems if your wrist joint doesn't perform as it should.
The three joints that make up the wrist are:
Take a look at this video for a more technical explanation of the wrist joints.
Another part of the wrist is the ligaments. These are the many strong bands in the wrist that provide flexibility and stability to the wrist joint.
The muscles responsible for moving and controlling the wrist are found on the forearm. The forearm muscles connect from the elbow area to the wrist bones.
The movement of the wrists includes flexion, extension, adduction, and abduction. Below are the muscles and their action on the wrist.
Here’s a quick and simple video that will give you a better understanding of the movement of the wrist and hand.
Blood vessels are important parts of the wrist. The main arteries that give blood to the wrist joint are the ulnar and radial arteries.
Three nerves travel through the wrist and into the hands. These nerves are the median, ulnar, and radial nerves. These nerves are the end branches of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves located in the shoulder.
Now that you have an understanding of wrist anatomy, let’s explore practical ways you can do to prevent wrist injuries.
If your job involves hours and hours of typing or some kind of deskwork, then it’s a good idea to take frequent breaks. The more you should do this if you frequently handle power tools or if your job involves manual labor.
A 10-15 minute break between work sessions should be enough. You’d be surprised how far a few minutes of rest can take you.
Your wrists (and your boss!) will thank you for it.
As tech-savvy people living in the digital age, we’re notorious for neglecting our posture. But having the proper posture plays a big role in preventing wrist injuries. Be mindful of your wrist positions while on the computer, watching TV, or while sleeping. Change positions if you find yourself stuck in one posture for too long.
Watch this video to learn more about the proper posture when working on a desk. Having an ergonomic environment will help you prevent wrist pain and injuries.
During the breaks you take, it would be helpful to stretch your wrists and hands.
Try out this simple stretch:
Or this one:
If you want to learn about the stretches you can do for your wrist, then watch this video:
Try to avoid doing the same wrist motions over and over again. If you find yourself using your right hand more, then switch over to your left hand. You can also try mixing it up to give your wrists a break.
If your wrists are constantly stressed or in pain, applying an ice pack will help reduce swelling and promote healing. Try icing your wrists for no more than 20 minutes at the end of the day for a relaxing evening.
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With our hands being an important part of our bodies, it’s no wonder that our wrists are prone to injuries. You need your hands to perform activities every day so it’s important for you to know wrist anatomy and how to take care of it.
As we outlined here in this article, taking frequent breaks while working, changing your posture, and being aware of the position of your wrists are some of the ways you can do to prevent wrist injuries.
Don’t forget to do stretching exercises during breaks. While stretching exercises can be beneficial, they can also cause soreness. Applying an ice pack to your wrist after exercising will help lessen the effects of soreness.
Whether you’re looking to treat or prevent wrist injuries, here at IceWraps.com, pain relief is just a click away!
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