Dart Thrower’s Motion: Keeping Your Therapy on Target!

Here at Ascend Hand Therapy, we strive to live out our four core values every day. One of those core values is an important guiding focus known as excellence. Part of providing excellent care to our patients means being up to date with the latest research and trends in the world of hand therapy. One of the latest focuses in hand therapy involves the use of the dart thrower’s motion in the course of treatment for various diagnoses. The dart thrower’s motion involves two specific motions:

  • Wrist extension (backwards motion) along with radial deviation (moving toward the thumb/index fingers)
  • Wrist flexion (forwards motion) along with ulnar deviation (moving toward your small finger)



So, why the dart thrower’s motion? Many functional tasks in our everyday life involve this motion versus solely a flexion and extension movement of the wrist. Some examples of every day activities that involve the dart thrower’s motion are:

  • Drinking from a cup and setting it back down on the table
  • Bringing your cell phone to your ear
  • Using a hammer
  • Casting a fishing poll
  • Throwing a ball or throwing a DART!

To get technical for a moment, dart thrower’s motion addresses a particular portion of the wrist called the midcarpal joint. The wrist is comprised of two rows of 4 bones. Moving the wrist at the midcarpal joint (motion between those two rows) is important and helpful when treating injuries such as scaphoid fractures and basal joint arthritis (this is arthritis of your opposable thumb joint). Apart from the anatomical importance of using the dart thrower’s motion in therapy, the activity is just flat out fun! In addition to addressing our core value of excellence, dart thrower’s motion also addresses another core value: fun loving attitude! If you would like to find out more information or just want to play some darts, come see us at Ascend Hand Therapy!

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