black white handLiving with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be incredibly frustrating since it interferes with routines in more ways than one. The onslaught of numbness, stiffness, and pain afflicting your hand can make simple activities more challenging to complete, from something as basic as gripping a pen, lifting objects to disrupting your ability to work. 

Seeing as the condition affects the passage between the wrist and hand, it makes sense to ease the painful symptoms by exercising the inflamed tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and bones surrounding the carpal tunnel.

On top of physical therapy and other treatments, doing the following exercises below should lessen the impact of your carpal tunnel syndrome:

Exercise #1: Wrist Extension

Exercising the muscles throughout the inner forearm, “wrist extension,” is like a warm-up stretch that is best done before performing any activities that involve gripping. 

  1. Stretch out one arm in front of your body and at shoulder level.
  2. Don’t lock your elbow and let it stretch loosely. 
  3. Bend the wrist back by doing a “stop” sign. 
  4. Use your free hand to pull back the hand, making the “stop” sign. 
  5. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Remember that you should pull the hand toward your body to stretch the inner forearm. 
  6. Release and repeat five more times.
  7. Repeat the process on the other arm. 

Exercise #2: Wrist Flexion 

Similar to wrist extension, a wrist flexion is an exercise designed to stretch the muscles surrounding the outer forearm. 

  1. Extend your arm in front of your body and at shoulder level.
  2. Don’t lock your elbow when stretching out your arm. 
  3. Instead of bending the wrist back, make sure your palm is face down, and the fingers are pointing to the floor. 
  4. Using the other hand, bend your downward-facing wrist toward the body until you feel your outer forearm stretching.
  5. Hold for 15 seconds. 
  6. Release and repeat five more times.
  7. Repeat the process on the other arm. 

Exercise #3: Tendon Glides

An exercise known for stretching the muscles throughout the carpal tunnel, tendon glides is one of the most effective ways to reduce carpal tunnel triggers. Keep in mind that it’s best to put a warm compress on the arm for 15 minutes before doing the exercise and then following up with a cold compress for 20 minutes after. 

  1. Bend your elbow loosely until the forearm is pointing upwards. 
  2. Curl all your fingers inward until they are touching the tops of your palm.
  3. Make an L-shape with your hand by straightening your fingers. Make sure the thumb stays relaxed. 
  4. Fold your fingers until all of them are touching the palm, almost like a straight-fingered fist. Tuck in the thumb and be sure it’s touching the index finger. 
  5. Turn your fingers into a regular fist. 
  6. Repeat ten times and do the exercise twice a day. 

The Bottom Line: Exercises and Stretches to Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

The thought of exercising seems daunting, but the low-impact physical activities mentioned above are all easy enough to do in a few seconds. Taking some time to insert these pain-relieving activities into your routine, especially between repetitive and strenuous work, can do wonders for relieving your carpal tunnel symptoms. 

How Can We Help You?

Dealing with body conditions can be stressful, especially when you don’t have the right doctor with you. If you’re dealing with hand conditions, like trigger fingers or carpal tunnel, you want to ensure you visit a reputable hand doctor right away. 

Led by Dr Richard D. Curtis and Dr Jose Baez, North Florida Hand & Wrist Center is a team of expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing the best care possible to their patients. Have your hands and wrist checked today — book an appointment with us!