Passive Flexor Tendon Stretch | Early Intervention Ergonomics
What is the Passive Flexor Tendon Stretch?
This advanced stretch replenishes the nutrients and re-oxygenates the distal upper extremity. It is a composite stretch that originates at the common wrist flexor tendon of the medial epicondyle and pulls all the way down to the deep and superficial tendons that pass through the annular pulleys of the fingers. Perform this stretch to give your body rest when performing forceful gripping, repetitive gripping, awkward or sustained postures of the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand to prevent common disorders such as golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendinitis, tendinosis, and muscle strain.
Here’s how to perform the passive flexor tendon stretch:
- Bend at the elbow and extend your fingers so that they are straight and pointing away from your body.
- With your other hand, grasp a little bit of your palm and gently pull your hand down into a slight stretch.
- Slowly start to push your arm out, going as far as you can without pain and hold for 3-5 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side, feeling a stretch along your flexor muscles.
Early Intervention Benefits
Here are some key early intervention health benefits to this stretch:
- Improved Flexibility: Regularly stretching the wrist flexor tendons can help improve their flexibility and range of motion. This makes it easier to perform various activities that involve flexion and extension of the wrist and fingers.
- Injury Prevention: Tightness or imbalances in the wrist flexor tendons can increase the risk of overuse injuries such as tendonitis or repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Stretching these tendons helps maintain their flexibility, reducing the likelihood of developing these types of injuries.
- Reduced Muscle Tension: The repetitive motions and sustained postures involved in many work-related tasks, such as typing or using handheld devices, can lead to muscle tension and discomfort in the wrist flexor muscles. Stretching these muscles and tendons can help alleviate this tension, promoting relaxation and reducing the risk of chronic pain or muscle imbalances.
- Improved Blood Circulation: Stretching exercises, including the wrist flexor tendon stretch, can improve blood circulation to the forearm and hand. Adequate blood flow ensures that the muscles and tendons receive essential nutrients and oxygen, promoting their health and recovery.
- Enhanced Ergonomics: Incorporating wrist flexor tendon stretches into a regular stretching routine can contribute to better ergonomics in the workplace. Workers may experience improved posture and decreased strain on the wrist and hand during repetitive tasks.
- Stress Relief: Engaging in stretching exercises can have a positive impact on overall stress levels and mental well-being. Taking short breaks to perform wrist flexor tendon stretches can help reduce mental and physical stress associated with prolonged or repetitive work tasks.
Things to Remember
It’s important to perform this stretch with control and avoid any jerking or sudden movements. You should feel a gentle pulling sensation in the forearm and wrist area, but the stretch should not be painful. If you experience pain or discomfort, ease off the stretch or consult with a healthcare professional.
These early intervention exercises are to improve overall health & fitness as well as reduce and prevent work-related injuries. If you have an injury or illness, please consult with a health care professional before attempting.