Speedy Recovery for Hands using Simple Exercises

  1. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What exactly is CTS – Signs, symptoms, risk factors & tests for diagnosis
  2. FAQ – How & What to Do if You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Tips for Recovery, helpful things you can do
  3. What Training Equipment to use to Improve Symptoms of CTS – How many & what type of tools to get
  4. Effective Hand Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel – How to prevent CTS symptoms as much as possible
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS in short) is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve in wrist

In many cases Speedy Recovery relies on regular daily exercises with specific simple tools

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Painful & progressive condition when the median nerve in your wrist is being compressed.
Typical symptoms are numbness, weakness & tingling sensation in your fingers, wrists & hands.

It’s possible, you may first notice those symptoms at night.

There are several tendons & median nerve that run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist.
Hence the name, carpal tunnel.

Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist – It’s made up of ligaments & bones – When compressed OR pinched, it causes pain, weakness, numbness, tingling in your hand that leads to medical condition called CTS.

Once you visit your doctor, you’re likely being asked if you have recently hurt your wrists, arms or neck.
Your doctor also wants to know if you have any health related problems such as:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an inflammatory disorder caused by repetitive stress, physical injury, or a medical condition

To diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may also include possible tests such as:

  • Blood tests – Helps to determine underlying conditions for CTS such as diabetes, arthritis or hypothyroidism
  • Imaging scans – X-ray images to determine fractures, rheumatoid arthritis or structural problems in wrist
  • Electromyography – To determine median nerve damage, muscle electrical activity is being montiored
  • Nerve conduct study – To measure & determine how quickly nerves transmit impulses to your muscles
  • Tinel’s test – Tapping lightly on median nerve to see whether patient feels tingling or numbness in their fingers
  • Phalen’s test – Wrist flexion test – patient is asked to press the backs of hands against each other til wrists are bent

Symptoms such as numbness, weakness & tingling most often occur in your thumb & index finger, also in middle finger &
half of the ring finger. Shaking your hand may relieve pain temporarily.

Including to most common CTS related conditions, there are also multiple other causes that can lead to CTS:

  1. Traumas – Wrist fracture/dislocation
  2. Obesity combined with wrist shape
  3. Joint structural problems in wrist
  4. Edema / Fluid retention
  5. Tumors in carpal tunnel
  6. Autoimmune diseases
  7. Inflammation
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Work stress

It can be sign of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if you have problems with your other 4 fingers BUT your little finger is fine.
The median nerve controls movement & feeling in your first three fingers & thumb but not your little finger.

Frequently Asked Questions – What, When & How

What to Do if You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

It’s critical to start treating carpal tunnel syndrome in early stages before the damage to median nerve progresses

5 simple treatment options you can use - Home Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  1. Get proper rest – Rest your fingers, hand & wrist
  2. Ice your wrist – Do it about 10 minutes, once OR twice in an hour
  3. Use painkillers – Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling & relieve pain
  4. Wear a wrist splint – Use it to hold your wrist in neutral position to relive pressure on median nerve
  5. Start physical therapy – Once pain is gone, strengthen your hands with proper exercises to prevent symptoms
Is carpal tunnel syndrome serious? - If not being treated, it leads to irreversible nerve damage

Carpal tunnel syndrome – It’s a common cause of pain, tingling, weakness & numbness of the hand.

CTS affects 3 to 6% of the population.

Recognizing the symptoms is important for early diagnosis – This can help to start timely treatment to prevent irreversible nerve damage.

Is carpal tunnel syndrome reversible? - Yes, it can be reversible

Yes! If CTS is in early stages, it’s reversible, when the symptoms first occur.

If you have persistent, periodic, recurrent pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in your hands –  Please, visit your doctor!
It’s important to consult with your doctor for better evaluation.

Fortunately, in early stages, in the CTS disorder, the process is reversible – Over time, however, further & even permanent nerve damage may develop.

Can a chiropractor help you with CTS? - Yes, chiropractors are taught to diagnose CTS

Chiropractors are taught to diagnose, examine & treat carpal tunnel..
..or cervical symptoms that can mimic carpal tunnel & irritate the nerve.

The possible treatments can often be anywhere between the neck & wrist line:
At the neck, at the shoulder, at the elbow, at the wrist

What ways are there to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? - Surgical & non-surgical

There are surgical & non-surgical treatments available.

Non-surgical treatments involve wrist splinting & corticosteroid injections.
Later on, also physical therapy to increase strength & flexibility in your fingers, arms & wrists.
Exercising can be effectively used to improve hand health, prevent pain & further symptoms to keep CTS from progressing.

Surgical treatment is an effective choice for people with more symptoms of CTS who fail on non-surgical treatment.

If on early stages, depending on your case, it is possible that you can completely relieve your symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with non-surgical treatment, when the symptoms first occur.

What vitamins are effective for CTS? - Vitamin B6

There are approximately 260, 000 carpal tunnel surgeries performed yearly.
Some doctors suggest to add vitamin B6 to treatment regimens, along with anti-inflammatories & wrist splints.

Some experts are suggesting that 90% of carpal tunnel syndrome cases can be cured by using vitamin B6.

Is carpal tunnel syndrome permanent? - Usually, there's no permanent damage to median nerve

It’s likely that the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will develop gradually.

Symptoms often improve if you stop OR change the activities that are causing the carpal tunnel syndrome condition.
Usually there is no permanent damage to median nerve – Most mild cases of CTS get better with proper treatment.

Can carpal tunnel syndrome affect your elbow too? - Yes, CTS can spread up to the shoulder

Most often, in mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, only the hand is affected & sometimes forearm as well.
But CTS can spread up to the shoulder.

The most common symptoms are pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in your forearms, hands & wrists.
There can be aching pain between your elbow & forearm.

Training Equipment to Prevent CTS Symptoms

Muscle Balance – The Key to Healthy Hands

Work On Your Extensors

Why is it a good idea to get a set of hand bands for yourself?
Hand bands are easy to use & fun, yet they play important part in your hand health.
Working on extensor muscles – This happens to be essential yet one of the most overlooked areas of hand training
These tools are also portable – Simply put one into your pocket & use it whenever you need – No excuse to skip exercise

  1. Avoid Recipe for Disaster – Vast majority of people NEVER work on their hand extensor muscles & that’s a recipe for disaster – If you’re concerned with your hand health, achieving muscle balance is the key. People usually have strong enough flexor muscles to grab & hold onto objects, but their counter-muscles, extensors are very weak in comparison.

  2. Speedy Recovery for Hands – Hand bands are great & help you tremendously if your hands are sore from repetitive motions. Exercise your hand extending to counter excessive flexing to relieve pain from your hands. Restore the muscle balance to keep you away from injuries. A great way to balance your exercise plan & increase your hand dexterity & fingers strength.

Set of Handbands by IronMind

Remember! Always start every exercise with a warm-up! Don’t go crazy right off the bat – Start light, go from there

What’s the Best Hand Therapy Kit You Can Choose?

Three Great Exercise Balls

It’s never been easier to keep your fingers, hands & forearms supple & strong with simple exercises.
Grabbing a simple set of exercise balls is effective way to prevent stiffness in your hands & relieve joint pain.
With exercise balls of varying resistance (soft, medium & firm) it’s easy to customize to individual needs & progression.

  1. A Key Tool for Achieving Strong & Pain-Free Hands – Enjoy active rest – Squeeze it as gently or as ferociously as you like. Great tool for off-day, light-workout when your hands are sore. Hand exercise balls are also excellent for warm-up & cool-down when you’re about to lift something heavy, or you’re starting a training session with your hand grippers.

  2. Very Helpful for Injury Prevention – Great for recovering from surgery, rehab, prehab, you name it. Hand exercise balls also help to release stress – You can work off nervous energy & maybe even lower your blood pressure during the day. You can use the exercise balls to improve overall hand strength, prevent stiffness, relieve joint pain & increase flexibility.

Gaiam Restore - Hand Therapy Kit

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Effective Hand Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:#1 Wrists#2 Hand & Fingers#3 Forearms#4 Shoulders & Neck

Hand & Wrist Exercises are great to help you to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Don’t forget your shoulders & neck.

Focusing on isometric & stretching hand & wrist exercises may greatly help you to reduce the risks of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Following simple exercise routines helps to strengthen the muscles in these areas as well as in your shoulders & neck.
Perform these simple exercises for couple of minutes to also improve blood flow to these ares.

Exercise 1 (Fist Clench)

Part 1:

  1. Keep your wrists straight
  2. Make a loose fist with your right hand & palm up
  3. Use your left hand to press gently down against the clenched hand
  4. Resist the force with your closed right hand for couple of seconds

Part 2:

  1. Now turn your right hand fist palm down
  2. Press the knuckles against the left open palm for couple of seconds
  3. Now turn your right palm so the thumb-side of the fist is up
  4. Press down again & hold for couple of seconds
  5. Repeat with the exercise with your other hand.

Exercise 2 (Wrist Bend)

Part 1:

  1. Hold one hand straight up shoulder-high
  2. Hold your fingers together & palm facing outward
  3. Grab your hand with the other hand & bend the hand you are exercising backward
  4. Keep the fingers together & hold this for position for couple of seconds.

Part 2:

  1. Now spread your fingers & thumb open while your hand is still bent backward
  2. Keep holding for couple of seconds
  3. Repeat the movement couple of times with each hand

Exercise 3 (Wrist Circle)

Part 1:

  1. Hold your second & third fingers up
  2. Close the others fingers
  3. Draw several circles in the air, clockwise, with the two fingertips

Part 2:

  1. Draw several more cirles in the air, now counter-clockwise
  2. Repeat the exercise with your other hand

Exercise 1 (Fingers Clench)

  1. Clench your fingers of one hand into a tight fist
  2. Now release for fanning out your fingers
  3. Do this movement several times
  4. Repeat the exercise with the other hand

Exercise 2 (Thumb Bend)

Part 1:

  1. Hold your fingers together
  2. Bend your thumb agains the palm beneath the little finger & hold for several seconds

Part 2:

  1. Now spread your fingers apart & palm up
  2. Hold again for several seconds.
  3. Repeat this exercise several times with each hand.

Exercise 3 (Thumb Pulling)

  1. Gently pull your thumb out & back with your other hand
  2. Hold it for several seconds
  3. Repeat the exercise several times times with each hand

Exercise 1 (Forearms Stretch)

Part 1:

  1. Place your hands together in front of your chest
  2. Point fingers upward, in a prayer-like position
  3. Keeping your palms flat together
  4. Now raise your elbows to stretch your forearm muscles
  5. Hold positions & keep stretching for several seconds

Part 2:

  1. Gently shake your hands limp
  2. Do it for a few seconds to loosen them
  3. Repeat this exercise frequently when your hands or arms tire from activity

Exercise 1 (Neck Stretch)

  1. Sit upright & place your right hand on top of your left shoulder
  2. Hold that shoulder down
  3. Slowly tip your head down toward the right shoulder
  4. Keep your face pointed forward, or slightly turned toward the right
  5. Hold this stretching position gently for several seconds
  6. Repeat the exercise on the other side

Exercise 2 (Shoulder Shrugs)

  1. Stand in a relaxed position with your arms at your sides
  2. Shrug your shoulders up & squeeze your shoulders back
  3. Now stretch your shoulders down, & then press them forward
  4. Keep going through the motions til you complete the exercise several times

More Great Ways to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

1 Re-design your work-space – This one of the most logical & universal ways to prevent & protect yourself from carpal tunnel syndrome. By doing that you’re doing your best to avoid cumulative trauma disorders.

There are multiple factors that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome – Because of that, there really is no single way
to prevent it.

It’s good idea to approach your problem with simple common sense in order to minimize some of the possible risk
factors that can contribute towards CTS symptoms.

To prevent inflammation – Replace your old tools with ergonomically designed new ones

Learn how to adjust to your working area – Handle tools & perform tasks in a way to minimize stress on your hands.

2 Have a Good posture – It’s very useful to learn how to use proper postures & how to use proper exercise programs to strengthen your upper extremities – Your fingers, hands & wrists – Also, how to train your forearms, shoulder & neck to prevent CTS as much as possible.

In case you’re a keyboard worker, always keep your neck flexible & sit with your spine against the back of the chair while your shoulders are relaxed.

Your elbows should rest along the sides of your body while you keep your wrists as straight as possible.

The key is to keep your wrists & hands in relaxed, neutral position to avoid excessive force.
Use voice recognition software if it’s available for you – It’s a big one, & virtually allows you hands-free computer use.

3 Take Micro-Breaks – Your job doesn’t go anywhere, but your hand health will if you don’t take care of it. Using small 3-5 minute breaks in smart way between long working sessions can make a big difference for you.

Shake & stretch your limbs, take deep breaths & lean back in the chair if you’re keyboard worker.

This way you can reduce discomfort & strain without decreasing your overall productivity. It’s mandatory to take breaks frequently if your job involves repetitive tasks – This can help you a great deal to avoid repetition & muscle over-exertion.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed reading my article & learned a lot about Hand Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome along the way.
Feel free to ask for assistance & share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Cheers,
Henry

Greetings! I'm Henry & I'm a friendly fellow who started this website to help you to improve your strength game. I’m fascinated by calisthenics, strongman training & weightlifting – I’ve been a powerlifter & martial artist for more than decade. Being passionate about strength sports, I'd love to discuss about these topics.

6 thoughts on “Hand Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  1. Hello Henry! Thanks for so much information that will help me to prevent problems the likes of which I am very vulnerable to! I have a wrist fracture in my history, year 2009. PT never returned my full ability to bend my wrist backward to a normal degree. I have been meaning to work on this on my own. This site gives a lot of guidelines for this.

    I have also had tendinitis, so does this mean I am more likely to contract CT? At least I finally got my desk ergonomics right, but as circumstances change, e.g. desk change I will use your guidelines as a check list.

    Thanks, Lynne

    1. Not necessarily Lynne, but tendinitis could be one of the contributing factors.
      If swelling from tendinitis gets too severe it can cause pressure to medial nerve that leads to carpal tunnel problems.

      Your fractured wrist is something I’d keep my eye on, since it’s more directly related to CT.
      Wrist structure is likely changed due to injury, so there could be higher risk to contract CTS.

      It’s important to continue your PT regularly, & to see how it goes for you..
      Just small every-day exercises are the ones that usually makes the big difference.
      One of the keys for healthier hands is to keep maintaining muscle balance.

  2. wow, what an informative article, Henry!

    I don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome, but if I did, I know where to get help for it now! I had no idea that CTS affects 3-6% of the population, that is a hell of a lot. Because you don’t hear about it much either. Since this is so common and I’m an avid weight lifter, I might have to start doing the exercises that you mentioned, to reduce the possibility for me to get CTS.

    You seem to know a lot in this field, so thank you so much.

    -Brandon

    1. It feels like it’s one of those conditions you don’t have until the moment you have it.
      Prevention is always better than cure.
      In many cases muscle overuse, muscle imbalance can lead to CTS – To avoid that, working extensors can be great:
      Something, that most people never do..

  3. Great advice and such a great post on how you can help carpel tunnel.

    Have you also thought of Omega 3 Fish Oil and other supplements especially apple cider vinegar.
    The exercises are so good as well. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Universal supplements like apple cider vinegar & Omega Fish Oils are in most cases excellent addition to our diet.

      The higher the quality of our nutrition, the healthier our bodies potentially can be.
      As each person is individual, & each case is unique, it’s also a good idea to test what works & what doesn’t for you.

      It’s wonderful to hear that you found these exercises good.
      They’re free & effective, to keep your hands healthy.

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