10.3 C
New York
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Buy now

What Is the Best Exercise for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

best exercise for carpal tunnel
These 7 wrist and hand exercises and stretches may help relieve your carpal tunnel symptoms

If you have mild or moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist and hand exercises may help improve your symptoms and prevent them from worsening.

For a more comfortable experience:

  • Apply heat to your hand for 10-15 minutes before to warm up.
  • Apply cold packs for 15-20 minutes after to prevent inflammation.

7 exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome

1. Wrist bending

  • Rest your elbow on a table with your arm facing upward and your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Bend your wrist gently toward your arm so that your fingers point toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Bring your wrist to the neutral position.
  • Bend your wrist back so that your fingers point toward the ground. Hold for 5 seconds. Bring your wrist back to the neutral position.
  • Do this in 3 sets with 10 reps in each set.

2. Wrist extension

  • Straighten your arm and bend your wrist back as if signaling someone to “stop.”
  • Apply gentle pulling pressure across the palm using your opposite hand.
  • Feel the stretch on the inside of your forearm as you gently pull the palm toward you.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Rest for 5 seconds and repeat. 
  • Perform 5 reps on each arm, 4-5 sets a day.
  • This stretch can be done throughout the day, especially before activity and as a warm-up routine before doing tasks that involve gripping.

3. Wrist flexion

  • Straighten your arm so that your palm is facing down.
  • Bend your wrist downward so that your fingers point toward the ground.
  • Apply gentle pulling pressure across the hand using your opposite hand.
  • Feel the stretch on the outside of your forearm as you gently pull your palm toward you.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Rest for 5 seconds and repeat. 
  • Perform 5 reps on each arm, 4-5 sets a day.
  • This stretch can be done throughout the day, especially before activity and as a warm-up routine before doing tasks that involve gripping.

4. Wrist rotations

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your elbow resting on a table.
  • Starting with your wrist in a neutral position, move only your hands up, down, left, and right in a rotating fashion.
  • Repeat 4-6 times. 
  • Perform 3-4 sets a day.

5. Prayer stretches

  • Put your hands together under your chin in a prayer position.
  • Keeping your hands joined close to your body, lower your hands slowly toward your waist until you feel a moderate stretch under your forearms.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Perform 2-4 reps, 3-4 times a day.

6. Tendon glides

  • Modification 1:
    • Keep your hand in front of you with your wrist straight.
    • Straighten your fingers so that they point upward.
      • Bend your fingers in a “hook position” keeping your knuckles pointing upward.
    • Make a tight fist with your thumb over your fingers.
    • Hold for 3 seconds during each step.
    • Perform 5-10 reps, 2-3 a day.
  • Modification 2:
    • Keep your hand in front of you with your wrist straight.
    • Straighten your fingers so that they point upward.
    • Keeping your fingers straight, bend at your bottom knuckle so that your fingers form a tabletop.
    • Touch your palm with your fingers while bending them at the middle joints.
    • Hold for 3 seconds during each step.
    • Perform 5-10 reps, 2-3 times a day.

7. Median nerve glides

  • Keeping your thumb outside your fingers, make a fist.
  • Straighten your fingers while keeping your thumb close to the side of your hand.
  • Bend your wrist backward toward your forearm.
  • While in the above position, move your thumb outward to increase the distance between the thumb and index finger (extension).
  • Use your opposite hand to gently stretch the thumb.
  • Hold for 5-8 seconds during each step.
  • Perform 10-15 reps, 2-3 times a day.

Can exercises worsen carpal tunnel syndrome?

Although exercises help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, they can also worsen the condition if not performed properly. For example, if the median nerve stays trapped in spite of the exercises, performing nerve gliding exercises may further stretch, irritate, or damage the nerve. 

You should never feel significant pain or discomfort during these exercises. Consult your doctor if you experience the following:

  • Numbness worsens
  • Pain increases in severity
  • Pain does not reduce or go away after 3-4 weeks of regular exercise

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Although exercise is important for managing carpal tunnel syndrome, it may not be enough to treat the condition. Your doctor may prescribe other treatments such as splints, ergonomic workplace modifications, and medications, in addition to exercises. 

In severe cases, surgery may also be needed. Exercises post surgery also help with speeding up recovery and prevent tissue scarring.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles