Exercises & StretchesHealth and Disease information

5 Best Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody its doctor Jo and the pups, and today we’re gonna show you the top five stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome. so let’s get started. The first stretches are just more of a warm-up. so just make a fist with both hands. most the time it’s usually in both hands. if it’s not it’s still pretty good to do both. and once you make a fist you can keep your elbows bent. if you want to put them straight out you can, but this is more of a warm-up, so I usually keep them bent. and just bend them down as far as you comfortably can and then up as far as you comfortably can. so almost like you’re revving a motorcycle up, but just to kind of a continuing to stretch back and forth. so this is a little bit more just getting it as a warm-up instead of a full stretch, but you’ll feel that stretch in there, so I would say maybe ten each way.

But just going up and down just kind of getting those wrist moving a little bit. especially if you’ve got that carpal tunnel syndrome in there where that that numbness is coming down into your hands and you feel it and your fingers and in your hands, that’s a good way to kind of warm it up. then you’re going to turn your hands up this way where your thumbs are on top, and then you’re going to go into radial and ulnar deviation. so just up and down. so same thing, this is really just to kind of get that wrist loosened up. it’s kind of a continuous motion going up and down. you don’t have to go super fast. you don’t have to go super slow. just kind of a continuous motion just to get everything nice and loosened up in there. and again that you know that carpal tunnel is right here, so that median nerve that comes down through there is the one that usually gets compressed and giving that nerve pain.

So if you’re having nerve pain up here and even up into your neck, that’s not carpal tunnel syndrome, that’s something coming from your neck or your shoulder. if it’s higher up sometimes it radiates a little bit this way, but it’s not going to radiate all the way up into your shoulder if it’s just carpal tunnel syndrome. so then the next ones are going into a full stretch. so this is going to be for your wrist flexors and your wrist extensors. so the first one, this time you’re going to put your arms straight out. you can do kind of a modified version and then you can do it a little bit more. so you’re going to kind of come up into a stop sign position like this. this is the bigger stretch here. if you don’t want quite as much of a stretch you can start off with your fist straight out, but if you want a little bit more of a stretch under here for those wrist flexors then put your hands up into that stop sign position.

If you need even more of a stretch you can put a little bit of over pressure with the other hand. and alternate back and forth, or you can go up against a wall and put a stretch in there, but this one’s a full stretch. so you want to hold that stretch for thirty Seconds, and you want to do that three times. what I like to do is alternate back and forth between your wrist flexors and your wrist extensors, so instead of doing all three at one time, now you’re going to come down, but it’s gonna change. so if your fingers are straight out you’re just gonna have a little bit of a stretch on those extensors up there, but if you want more of a stretch curl them in and you’ll really feel that stretch through there. and then if you still need more of a stretch you can either push on each side, or take your hands and kind of push them up against the wall and just get some more pressure in there. so again thirty Seconds, three this way.

So if you just alternate back and forth there’d be a total of six times, three each way for that thirty seconds. so that really gets it nice and loosened up. then the next one is going to be a prayer stretch. that really stretches into that carpal tunnel area, so what I like to do is put my palms together. to start off with with my elbows kind of close together and then keeping your palms together, bring your elbows out and your hands down. so it kind of looks like you’re going into a prayer. but you really want to push those elbows out and you’re going to get a really really good stretch in there. now this going all the way down. if you have carpal tunnel syndrome this might be just a little bit too much. so bring it up a little bit if you need to. thats stretching, you want it to be tension. you want to be that good hurt, hurt so good feeling, but you don’t want to just be pain pain. you might get some of that numbness tingling feeling in your fingers when you’re doing this. you’re putting that compression on that nerve, so as long as if you let it up it goes away that’s fine, but if you’re stretching and you feel it and you let it up and it’s still getting that numbness, some tingling, you might be to doing a little bit too much.

But this is another one where you’re holding it for that 30 seconds and then you’re doing that three times. so really just getting that good stretch. if you need to take a break in between and shake them out and again, if it’s a little numb, but then it kind of goes away if you move it a little bit that’s fine, but if it stays numb that’s when you probably really need to check in with a doctor or physical therapist because it might be something else. it might be coming from your neck, your shoulder, your elbow, or your wrist. so that’s why it’s really important to find out exactly what’s causing it first.

So the next one is going to be for your pecs to stretch out those because even though this is the carpal tunnel syndrome, that whole chain goes all the way down. so sometimes those tight PEC muscles in there do cause that numbness and tingling. so if you’re not quite 100% sure, doing a PEC stretch is really good stretching out that chest area. and an easy one to do while you’re sitting down is just take your hands and clasp them behind you. and so basically what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna push down and out and then just push your chest forward as you stretch. and you should really feel that stretch right through there. so again if you feel a little bit of numbness and tingling while you’re doing it, it’s okay as long as once you let go that numbness and tingling goes away, but if it continues after you hold that stretch, don’t keep doing it because that might be something else going on that you really need to get checked out. so pushing down and out and then pushing your chest out and for it and again holding that for 30 seconds doing that three times.

So then another good one to stretch is your anterior scalene muscles in the front and again if these are tight a lot of times it will pull up in this area and put pressure on the nerves going out this way. so sometimes it’s like a thoracic outlet syndrome pushing on the brachial plexus something like that where you’re having that numbness and tingling in your hands that you might think it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, but it might not be. so another great stretch to do is to stretch out those anterior scalene muscles. so what I like to do is just kind of place my hand on my collarbone here, that just helps kind of hold it down to get a little stretch, and turn your head the opposite way.

So if I’m stretching this side and then bring that ear up towards the ceiling. so I’m stretching right through that area right there, and I get a nice good stretch. I feel it again it should be super comfortable, not painful. holding that for 30 seconds. and then I would actually do each side even if again you’re only really feeling it on one side, I’d stretch out both sides just to get everything nice and loosen up. so again 30 seconds, three times on each side. holding the collarbone or that clavicle turning away and then looking up pointing that ear towards the ceiling. so there you have it those were your top five stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome.

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