Carpal Tunnel Exercises
Fist Flexion Exercises
Fist flexion exercises (also known as tendon-gliding exercises) move your fingers through five positions while your wrist stays in a neutral position (meaning it is not bent). To perform this exercise, do the following:
- Start with your fingers straight
- Make a hook fist and then return to a straight hand
- Make a straight fist and then return to a straight hand
- Make a full fist and then return to a straight hand.
Hold each position for seven seconds, and do 10 repetitions. Repeat three times to five times a day.
Median Nerve-Gliding Exercises
For median nerve-gliding exercises, you move your thumb through six positions while your wrist stays in a neutral position. To perform this exercise, do the following:
- Begin by making a fist with your wrist in the neutral position
- Straighten your fingers and thumb
- Bend your wrist back and move your thumb away from your palm
- Turn your wrist palm up
- Use your other hand to gently pull your thumb farther away from your palm.
Hold each position for seven seconds, and do five repetitions. Repeat three to five times a day.
After doing repetitive movements for awhile, you can sometimes cancel out the effects of those movements by flexing and bending your wrists and hands in the opposite direction. For example, after typing with your wrist and hand extended, it is helpful to make a tight fist and hold it for a second, then fan out the fingers and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this five times.
You can also stretch the neck and shoulder muscles. While standing, place your left hand on top of your right shoulder. Hold that shoulder down while tipping your head to the left. Keep your head looking forward, and hold for five seconds. You should repeat this stretch on the other side.
Shoulder shrugs may also help. For this exercise, stand with your arms at your side. Then raise your shoulders straight up, squeeze your shoulders back, then stretch your shoulders down, then move them forward. It should take 7 to 10 seconds per rotation. Repeat five times.