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Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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On average 3.1% of Americans will get Carpal Tunnel every year.
That's roughly 3,890,000 people!

If you're suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you know all about the pain and inconvenience it can cause. Before considering surgery there are carpal tunnel exercises you can try to relieve your pain like the prayer, wrist flexor and wrist extensor stretches.

Carpal Tunnel Exercises

Jobs prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Cashier
  • Farmer
  • Mechanic
  • Locksmith
  • Sewer
  • Painter
  • Janitor
  • Gardener
  • Musician
  • Assembly-line worker

Diseases and situations Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with:

  • Pregnancy
  • Arthritis
  • Wrist fractures and dislocations
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Tumours of tendon sheaths
  • Amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance)
  • Diabetes
  • Wrist cysts
  • Gout
  • Menopause

Carpal Tunnel Braces


Bort Carpal Tunnel Wrist Spica and Thumb Fracture Splint


Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace


Air Flex Carpal Tunnel Splint - Right Hand

We'll cover everything you need to know, from the exact anatomical causes of carpal tunnel syndrome down to the most effective therapies including physical stretches for flexibility and strength.

Try these carpal tunnel exercises and get your joint health back on track.

  1. The first flexibility exercise you should try is the wrist extensor stretch, which involves strengthening the tendons surrounding the carpal tunnel, ensuring that your symptoms are reduced in severity. You will need to bend the wrist joint carefully using your other hand, so that your fingers are pointing downwards. Initially, you can do this while your elbow is bent to prevent yourself from overdoing it. Afterwards, you can go on to trying this exercise with a straight elbow to get the maximum effects. You ought to maintain this for up to 20 seconds and try doing it 3 times every day.
  2. The second exercise you might benefit from trying is a kind of opposite to the first stretch. This time, bend your affected wrist to make your fingers point upwards. You should make sure your elbow is bent to begin with, just like you did with the first exercise. You can then advance to the straightened elbow version when you're ready and able. You ought to hold this position for up to 20 seconds and perform it twice daily.

It's all well and good having flexible wrist, but you need to inject some strength into it, too. If you want to prevent reoccurrence of your carpal tunnel symptoms, then you need to make sure you have strong wrists. The best way to do this is to employ isometric wrist exercises.

  1. The whole point of isometric exercises is to contract your muscles without actually moving them. Think of bodybuilders who strike a pose for the camera: their muscles are bulging but they aren't actually moving at all. Firstly, clench your affected hand to make a fist. You can now bend your wrist back using your healthy hand. Try to resist this movement with your affected hand to help it to build up some strength. Try doing this for 10 seconds up to 10 times each. Once you've got the hang of this, you can move on to bending your wrist in the opposite direction.
  2. The other category of strength exercises is known as concentric exercises. These tend to be harder to do than isometric exercises and involve the use of weights like dumbbells. Firstly, support your forearm by using a table at the appropriate height. Then, extend your wrist slowly and carefully while holding a 2 pound dumbbell. You might want to start with 10 repetitions and then progress as you feel stronger and more confident. You can repeat the same process for wrist flexion as well as extension for the best results.
  3. There are a few exercises that involve a little of strength and stretching combined. The best exercise in the category is probably the spider push-up, or prayer stretch. Firstly, place your hands as if you're about to pray at church. Then spread your fingers apart and make a steeple shape with your hands. Make sure that your fingertips are still touching and you're done. That's all there is to do. This simple movement stretches everything that affects your carpal tunnel, including the palmar fascia and the median nerve which is typically trapped in this condition.

Take a Break!
Every hour give your hands a 5 minute rest.

You can boost the effects of these other exercises by performing a simple wrist action that you probably do multiple times a day anyway.

  1. This is the wrist shake that you might do if you find a broken hand drier in a public washroom. It's as simple as that: just shake your hands as if you're trying to dry them off.
    Carpal Tunnel Shake Esercise

These exercises should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan as advised by your physician. They may also recommend the use of cold packs, wrist splints and corticosteroid injections. Make sure you make the most of the non-surgical treatment options by doing these carpal tunnel exercises every day.


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