The CarpalAID Blog
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful, progressive condition that affects millions of Americans each year. It occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed. The compression may happen when the tendons are inflamed, or because of some other underlying factor that causes the ligaments within the carpal tunnel to expand. While there is no surefire way to cure CTS, there are carpal tunnel exercises that can help prevent symptoms or relieve hand or wrist pain associated with the disorder.
First, we must emphasize the importance of maintaining correct hand posture even when doing everyday tasks such as holding a frying pan or operating your computer mouse. Proper ergonomics is essential for everyone – mainly for whose work or hobbies includes repetitive tasks such as typing, assembling, gaming, weightlifting, knitting, etc.
As you go about your day-to-day activities, keep an eye on how much pressure you put on your hands and how tense they usually are. Your aim should be to minimize any unnecessary stress and strain on your hands and wrists. Also, take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks.
The following carpal tunnel exercises will help relieve stress and strain on your hands and wrists. Regular practice will help greatly.
Simple Carpal Tunnel Exercises
1. Hold one arm straight out and bend your hand at the wrist with palm and fingers pointing out and up, as shown in Figure 1. Grab the tips of the fingers with the other hand and gently pull them inward toward your body. Repeat several times a day, or whenever you feel tension in your wrists.
2. Place one arm straight out in front of you, with your wrist bent, fingers facing the floor as shown in Figure 2. Grab the hand and fingers with your other hand, with the thumb placed on the inside of the palm, and gently pull toward your body as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat several times with each hand.
3. Find a soft tennis ball, or a stress exercise ball. Squeeze the ball in your CTS-affected hand for about 5 seconds and then release. Don’t forget to involve your thumb while squeezing and releasing. Repeat several times with each hand, a few times each day.
4. Holding your hand up, with the fingers straight but relaxed, spread the fingers as wide as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat several times, then do the other hand.
5/6. From a seated or standing position, extend your forearm upward, with the arm bent at the elbow and fingers pointing up. While keeping your arm still, fold your hand forward at the wrist like shown in Fig 5. Fold your hand forward as much you can and hold for 15 seconds before stretching it in the opposite direction as shown in Figure 6. Repeat with the other hand.
7. Bend your arms at the elbow with your forearms and hands pointing upward. Slowly do a sideways bend at the wrist to the left and then to the right. Rest and repeat several times..
8. Holding your hand upward, fold all four fingers downward at the second knuckle joints and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat several times with each hand.
9. To strengthen your hand and wrists, hold a small to medium weight (1 lb. to 3 lb.) exercise ball in the palm of your hand for 10 to 20 seconds, then rest. Repeat 3 to 5 times with each hand.
10. Holding the same weight ball, bending at the wrist slowly roll your hand up toward your body as far as possible, then slowly release. Repeat several times.
11. Hold a soft exercise ball in your hand, palm facing toward the floor. Slowly lift the ball up, bending at the wrist, as far as possible. Repeat several times.
Don’t rely on Carpal Tunnel Exercises Alone
While these carpal tunnel exercises may help, there is still skepticism about their perceived benefits in relieving carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. For best results, consult your physician. You can also try CarpalAID®, a small hand patch that relieves painful carpal tunnel hand pain without medication.
CarpalAID®’s unqiue shape creates negative pressure on the median nerve, relieving hand pain in some cases as few as 30 minutes. Read more about CarpalAID® here.
CarpalAID® is also available at a Rite Aid Pharmacy store near you, or online at Amazon.