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Wrist Movements

The wrist is a complex series of joints that are formed around the carpal bones and the radius and ulna (forearm bones). The wrist is capable of three sets of distinct movements

  • Flexion and extension
  • Supination and pronation
  • Ulnar deviation (ulnar flexion) and radial deviation (radial flexion)

wrist flexion

Flexion and extension

Flexion describes the movement of bending the palm down, towards the wrist.


wrist extension

Extension describes the movement of raising the back of the hand.


Supination and Pronation

Supination

Supination describes the movement of rotating the forearm into a palm up position.


Pronation

Pronation describes the movement of rotating the forearm into a palm down position.


Ulnar Deviation and Radial Deviation

ulnar deviation

Ulnar deviation, otherwise known as ulnar flexion, is the movement of bending the wrist to the little finger, or ulnar bone, side. With the right hand this is the movement you use when hitting the Enter key.


radial deviation

Radial deviation, otherwise known as radial flexion, is the movement of bending the wrist to the thumb, or radial bone, side.


The Neutral Position

The neutral position of the wrist is that position where the wrist is in straight alignment with the forearm: no flexion, extension, radial or ulnar deviation. The wrist is at the mid-point between supination and pronation. This is commonly called the handshake position.