CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME – EXERCISES
Carpal tunnel exercises can help prevent and ease the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. While these exercises alone are not substitute for treatment and ergonomic positioning, they may offer some relief.
Exercise 1 Example of a simple exercise for carpal tunnel syndrome:
You can try this movement series at the start and end of your work shift, as well as during any breaks you take throughout the day.
1) Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you.
2) Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a “STOP” signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
3) Now straighten your wrists while relaxing your fingers.
4) Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.
5) Keeping your fists clenched, bend your wrists down. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
6) Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again.
Repeat this series 5-10 times, then relax your arms by your sides.
Prevention better than cure …
Even if you haven’t experienced the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, these exercises are simple, easy and feel great for anyone who uses computers or laptops, works with hand tools, sews, plays an instrument or does other repetitive hand/finger tasks.
Don’t wait until your hands and wrists cause you pain—take proactive steps today.
Exercise 2 Tendon Gliding:
There is a particular sequence of hand exercises that is recommended by the Baltimore Hospital called tendon gliding. This sequence is designed to ease pressure on the tendons and relieve the pain in the carpal tunnel and comprises 5 positions for the hand. The exercises can be done sitting or standing.
Click here to download a PDF.
There are various sequences of wrist and hand exercises that are easy to do and have been shown to be of great benefit in treating carpal tunnel syndrome – and in preventing its development. Below are some examples of these.
Exercise 3 Simple wrist flexor stretch:
Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up.
Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Repeat 2 to 4 times.
Exercise group 4 – Three other basic moves that you can do any time of day:
These stretches and exercises are simple and don’t require any equipment. You can easily do them at your desk, while waiting in line, or whenever you have a minute or two to spare.
Problems like carpal tunnel are best addressed and prevented with stretches done throughout the day; with these exercises you can protect your wrists in just a few minutes a day.
Exercise 5 Spiders Doing Pushups on a Mirror
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This is a very simple exercise and is a great stretch for your hands:
Start with your hands together in prayer position.
Spread your fingers apart as far you can, then “steeple” the fingers by separating palms of hands, but keeping fingers together.
This stretches the palmar fascia, carpal tunnel structures, and median nerve – the nerve that gets irritated in a carpal tunnel syndrome. This one is so simple even your officemates won’t notice you doing it, so you don’t have any excuses for not trying it.
Exercise 6 The Shake
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This is as straightforward as it sounds: shake hands like you’ve just washed them and are trying to air dry them.
Do this for a minute or two every hour to keep flexor muscles of your hands and the median nerve from getting cramped and tight during the day. If that sounds like a lot, you could even integrate this into your hand washing routine.
Whenever you wash your hands do this exercise. Use your carpal tunnel exercises as another reason to lather up more often and keep colds and flu at bay!
Exercise 7 Stretch and Bend
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This last exercise is the deepest stretch of the set:
Place one arm straight out in front of you, elbow straight, palm downwards, with your wrist extended and fingers facing the floor.
Spread your fingers slightly and use your other hand to apply gentle pressure to down-facing hand, stretching your wrist and fingers as far as you’re able.
When you reach your maximum point of flexibility, hold this position for about 20 seconds.
Switch hands and repeat.
Then do the same exercise but this time stretching the hand upwards.
There is a basic principle here, if you exercise with wrist extension (hand facing down) this should be followed by wrist flexion (hand facing up). If you stretch one set of muscles, you want to work the opposite for balance.
Do this two to three times on each side, and try to do this stretch every hour. After a few weeks of doing this multiple times a day, you’ll notice a ton of improvement in your wrist’s flexibility.
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LINK TO PDF WITH HAND EXERCISES
YOGA EXERCISES – VIDEO