Fitness Articles

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A Real Pain in Your Wrist No More


For other jobs that entail repetitive use of the hands, apply the same principles above but look for opportunities to rotate job functions throughout the day (if possible) so that you're not performing the same repetitive tasks all day long. Think ergonomically when looking at a job function and choosing tools for the job. Be as body friendly as possible, considering alignment and form when you move during your tasks.

Anyone can take steps like these to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome (or help alleviate its symptoms), but research has yet to prove that these steps will definitely prevent the problem.

How is it treated?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated in a surgical or non-surgical manner. The initial treatment usually involves resting the affected hand or wrist for at least two weeks, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms, and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid more damage from twisting or bending.

If the wrist is inflamed, cool packs may reduce swelling. One interesting note that deserves special attention is that yoga has been shown to effectively reduce pain and improve grip strength among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome! Your best bet is to consult with your physician to discuss which treatment options may be best for you.

Below are some specific stretches and exercises that can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and reduce symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Exercises

Carpal tunnel exercises can help prevent and ease the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. While these exercises alone are not substitute for treatment and ergonomic positioning, they may offer some relief.

You can try this movement series at the start and end of your work shift, as well as during any breaks you take throughout the day.
  1. Stand up straight and extend both arms straight out in front of you.
  2. Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were giving a "stop" signal. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  3. Now straighten your wrists while relaxing your fingers.
  4. Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.
  5. Keeping your fists clenched, bend your wrists down. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  6. Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again.
  7. Repeat this series 5-10 times, then relax your arms by your sides.
Even if you haven't experienced the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, these exercises are simple, easy and feel great for anyone who uses the computers, works with hand tools, sews, plays an instrument or does other repetitive hand/finger tasks. Don't wait until your hands and wrists cause you pain—take proactive steps today.

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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

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