Pain, weakness, and numbness in the hands or wrists — these are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. With all the time we spend typing and texting, more and more people are developing this inflammatory disorder. The good news is there are simple exercises that can alleviate the pain that carpal tunnel syndrome causes or aid in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome altogether. Performing these exercises can help keep the hand flexor muscles and the median nerve from getting irritated during long periods of repetitive hand movements.
Exercises for Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Place hands together in an upside down prayer position.
- Spread the fingers apart as far as you can.
- While keeping your fingers and thumbs touching (thumb to thumb, etc.), bring the fingers up toward the thumbs.
- Extend the fingers back down to the upside down prayer position.
- Continue this movement for a minute.
- Repeat this exercise periodically through the day.
- Shake hands up, down and around like you are drying them.
- Continue this movement for one to two minutes every hour.
Stress ball grip
- Find a soft ball, such as a tennis ball.
- Squeeze the ball tightly.
- Release the grip on the ball.
- Repeat the activity, slowly five to ten times.
- Make a fist.
- Release your fingers and gradually slide the fingers upward until you are stretching them as far as you can.
- Repeat the movement five to ten times every hour while doing repetitive hand movements.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is managed best when caught early. When done consistently, these exercises can help in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome’s symptoms. However, in many cases, exercises will not be enough to cure it entirely. If the exercises cause any discomfort or do not help with your pain, reach out to your doctor for recommendations. If you need a physician, reach out to the Mercy Health team at 513-952-5000 or visit mercy.com.