If you live with carpal tunnel syndrome, you know just how painful and inconvenient it can be. occurs when pressure is placed on the median nerve, which runs from your shoulder area throughout your entire arm. Sometimes people describe the pain like the feeling of electric shock. Following a treatment plan that includes carpal tunnel exercises is essential to relieving that pain and numbness.
Finding the exercises to help prevent further pain isn’t always easy. Let’s look at a few common – and helpful – exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome that you can do at your convenience at home or at work.
When you take the time to warm-up your arms, wrists and hands it can have a powerful impact on your carpal tunnel exercises and fingers and hand pain relief. This is essential for moderate symptoms as well as more severe ones.
Here are some ideas to warm-up properly:
- Gently rotate your wrists up, down and side to side. Repeat this motion 5 times.
- Stretch your fingers apart, relax them and then stretch them apart again. Repeat this motion 5 times.
- Gently stretch your thumb by pulling it lightly toward your body, holding it for a few seconds and releasing it. Repeat this motion 5 times.
Now that you’re warmed up with hand exercises, you’re ready to move onto some more challenging stretches.
Wrist flexor stretch
The wrist flexor stretch helps to stretch out your wrist and forearm. It’s important to remember to go slowly and to take your time with these exercises. Doing so will allow you to prepare your body to do more in a reasonable and safe amount of time.
Here’s how to do the wrist flexor stretch:
- Extend your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing up.
- Bend your wrist so that your fingertips point slightly toward the floor.
- Using your other hand, very gently bend your wrist a little farther until you feel a mild stretch in your wrist and forearm.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat this motion 3-5 times.
Keep your wrists healthy with this stretch can go a long way toward helping to manage your carpal tunnel pain more effectively in the future.
Wrist extensor stretch
Like the wrist flexor stretch, you will feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. But, with the wrist extensor stretch, you will face the palm of your hand down.
Here’s how to do the wrist extensor stretch:
- Extend your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing down.
- Bend your wrist so your hand is pointing toward the floor.
- Using your other hand, bend your wrist farther down until you feel a mild stretch in your wrist and forearm.
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat 2 to 4 times.
This stretch will help provide you with more range of motion and strength going forward.
The prayer stretch is another beneficial option in your carpal tunnel exercise toolbox. It’s gentle, but effective.
Here’s how to do the prayer stretch:
- Begin with your palms together and your fingers pointing up.
- Your palms need to be just below your chin.
- Keeping your palms together, slowly lower your hands toward your waist. Make sure you keep your hands close to your stomach.
- Now you will feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearms.
- Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat this motion 3 to 5 times.
Be sure not to slouch forward when doing this exercise. Inhale your elbows away from each other and exhale them towards each other. By pressing your hands together for the entire exercise, you’ll deepen the stretch.
This exercise is as straightforward as it sounds. All you have to do is gently shake your hands as if you’re trying to air dry them. Do this exercise throughout the day to keep your wrists, forearms and muscles from tightening or cramping up.
Spiders doing push-ups on the mirror
This carpal tunnel exercise is especially good for helping to relieve the nerve that becomes irritated. It’s simple to do from your desk at work or when you’re at home.
Here’s how to the do the spiders doing push-up on the mirror:
- Start with your hands in the prayer position, but make sure your fingertips are pointing down.
- Spread your fingers apart, then make a steeple shape by separating your palms.
- Bring your thumbs down and back up again.
It’s such a simple exercise and can be done in mere seconds. Give it a try during your meeting or in your next few moments of downtime.
Grip strengthening exercises
With a soft stress relief ball or hand putty, anyone can do grip strengthening exercises. All you have to do is gently squeeze a stress relief ball, hold it for a few seconds, and release slowly. Repeat the grip strengthening exercise 5 to 10 times.
Each of these exercises and stretches are simple and will challenge you to do more with your hands and wrists. Remember: don’t do any stretch or exercise that is uncomfortable or hurts. Always talk with your doctor and physical therapist before trying exercises or stretches for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
While these stretches and exercises won’t cure carpal tunnel syndrome, they may help you relieve symptoms, help you become more flexible and help you gain more strength and feel better.
Which of these carpal tunnel exercises do you rely on to relieve pain?
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