There are a variety of exercises and stretches a person can perform to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. When performing any of the exercises listed below, it is important to stop immediately if you experience any pain. You may feel a gentle pull or stretch when performing these exercises, but you should not push yourself to the point of pain.
1. Wrist Extensions
Wrist extensions are a great way to stretch the muscles of your inner forearm. Follow the steps below to complete the wrist extension exercise.
- Starting with your left arm, hold it straight at shoulder height.
- Now, bend your left wrist back.
- Use your right hand to pull back your left hand – you should feel a gentle stretch in your inner forearm.
- Hold this stretch for 15 seconds.
- Release and repeat 5 times and then switch to the right arm.
2. Ball Squeeze
You will need a soft ball to complete this exercise.
- Hold the ball in your right hand.
- Squeeze the ball for 5 seconds and release.
- Repeat 10 times – performing 3 sets.
- Repeat on the left hand.
3. Weighted Wrist Stretch
You will need a very light dumbbell for this exercise a one or two-pound weight should suffice.
- Hold the weight in your right hand and extend the arm straight, palm facing down.
- Slowly bring your hand up and back, bending the wrist.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 times for three sets.
- Switch hands and repeat.
If you feel any pain when performing this exercise, you should stop immediately.
4. Wrist Flexion
This exercise will stretch the muscles in your outer forearm.
- Extend your right arm in front of you at shoulder height.
- With your right palm facing down, bend the wrist.
- Use your left hand to pull the bent hand toward the body. You should feel a gentle stretch in the outer forearm.
- Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
- Repeat the stretch 5 times.
- Switch and repeat on the left arm.
5. Tendon Glides
This exercise stretches the tendons in the carpal tunnel. There has been research that shows that using a splint and performing tendon gliding exercises can improve carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Bend your right elbow so the forearm points straight up.
- Straighten your fingers and thumb out – all fingers should be pointing straight up.
- Bend the top of the fingers to make a hook.
- Bend fingers into a tight fist, with your thumb on top.
- Hold each pose for 3 seconds.
6. Wrist Lift
This is another exercise that works the muscles in your arms.
- Place your palm flat on a table.
- Put the other hand directly at a right angle across the knuckles.
- Lift your wrist and fingers of the bottom hand while pressing down with the top hand.
- Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Switch and repeat on the opposite hand.
7. Median Nerve Glide
- Make a fist with your hand and keep the thumb on the outside.
- Uncurl your fingers, stretching the fingers and thumb out.
- Bend the hand back toward the forearm, then extend your thumb to the side.
- Using your other hand, apply pressure on the thumb.
- Hold each position for 5 seconds.
- Release and repeat on the other hand.
These are all excellent at-home exercises to try if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Like any new exercise program, you should consult your doctor before performing any of these exercises. If you have pain with these exercises, stop performing them immediately.
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