Three exercises that can help treat carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain in the wrist that affects your grip and makes it difficult to accomplish many simple tasks. It commonly develops as a result of repetitive use of the wrist for activities like typing and physical labor. 

There are many treatments that can help reduce carpal tunnel syndrome pain, but one of the most fundamental ways you can treat it is with exercising. Take a look below at some exercises you can try at home or that might be included in your treatment if you visit a physical therapist for assistance. 

1. Spider spreads 

Spider spreads are finger stretches that can be felt deep in the carpal tunnel structures of your wrists. This exercise can improve flexibility in the muscles and ligaments around the carpal tunnel to help reduce pressure that irritates the median nerve.

To do this exercise, bring your hands together, palms inward. Turn your hands upside down so that the fingers are facing the ground. Slowly spread your fingers apart and let your palms separate while keeping the tips of your fingers together. You should feel this stretch throughout your entire hand and wrist. 

Repeat 10 to 15 times a few times per day. 

2. Wrist extensor stretches 

The wrist extensors are muscles in your forearm that power many of your wrist movements. Keeping these muscles strong and flexible helps to reduce irritation that causes carpal tunnel syndrome.

To do this exercise, stand with one arm straight out in front of you and your palm facing downward. Use your other hand to gently push down the hand of your outstretched arm. You should feel the muscles in the back of your forearm stretch. 

Hold the wrist in this position for about 20 seconds and then repeat with the other hand. Do this a few times per day or as necessary to help treat carpal tunnel syndrome. 

3. Wrist shakes

Wrist shakes help keep the extensor and flexor muscles in your wrists loose and flexible. This exercise is relatively simple but very impactful.

To do wrist shakes, simply hold your hands out in front of you, bending your arms at the elbow. Turn your palms and fingers downward and shake your hands like you’re trying to get water off of them. Do this for a minute or two several times per day to help keep the muscles loose and flexible. 

Visit Panther Physical Therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Is prolonged pain in your wrist affecting your grip strength and making life more difficult? Our physical therapists at Panther Physical Therapy can guide you through exercises and other treatments to help you recover. Contact our team today for more information about carpal tunnel syndrome or to schedule an initial appointment.