Wrist exercises after a spinal cord injury

These tenodesis exercises are aimed at people with a C6 spinal cord injury, those with some hand and arm movement. It allows people who don’t have active finger movement to grasp and release objects using the wrist.

Bend wrist upwards, bending fingers into a fist

A Tenodesis Grip

A “Tenodesis grip” is the natural tendency for your fingers to close when you lift up your wrist.

To help you to achieve this grip, your Occupational Therapist will offer hand therapy sessions with: 

  • passive wrist and hand exercises
  • active wrist extension exercises
  • hand splinting – boxing glove splints or tenodesis resting splints 
  • a graded programme of grasp retraining using objects of different size, reach and activities
  • remedial games.

Tenodesis Grip Exercise

Start with your arm at your side, elbow bent to 90 degrees or a right angle. Have your hand in a relaxed position with your palm facing down.

Hand in a relaxed position with palm facing down

Gently bend your wrist up towards the ceiling while bending your fingers towards the palm of your hand to make a fist.

Bend wrist upwards, bending fingers into a fist

Bend your wrist down towards the floor as far as you can while you gently straighten your fingers.

Useful Links

  • Spinal Cord Injury
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