Try These Exercises at the End of the Day to Avoid Carpal Tunnel

We all use our hands every day, and some repetitive movements can lead to pain in your wrists. The pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem that not only can affect your working life, but your daily home life as well. There are some simple things you can do to try to prevent this condition.

At Mehling Orthopedics, our team is ready to get you the help you need for carpal tunnel syndrome. Our team is led by Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit, both of whom are board-certified orthopedic surgeons. They help you work on preventing carpal tunnel syndrome, and can provide treatment if you already have the symptoms..

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an uncomfortable condition in your wrist and hand that leads to difficulty with even the easiest of tasks. Your carpal tunnel is a small and narrow canal in the wrist that houses a large nerve, known as the median nerve. Over time, repetitive motion or trauma causes the carpal tunnel space to narrow, which puts pressure on the nerve. 

When there’s excess pressure on the median nerve, you’ll feel pain in your hand and wrist, sometimes at night, along with other symptoms such as:

It may be hard to grip objects or do simple things like open a jar without severe pain. The severity of your condition depends on how long you’ve had it and how you take care of it.

Can you prevent it?

Although carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t 100% preventable, there are things you can do to decrease the risk of getting or worsening it. There are certain circumstances that you can’t change that make your chances of carpal tunnel syndrome more likely, including having diabetes, arthritis, hormonal imbalances, or a family history of carpal tunnel problems.

Sometimes trauma sometimes leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. Even though you aren’t able to prevent it totally, there are some things you can do. You can:

You also want to avoid making the same motions with the same wrist, so make sure to switch hands every now and then to avoid making your carpal tunnel syndrome worse. One of the best things you can do is to stretch your wrists frequently to avoid stiffness and other symptoms from setting in.

Wrist exercises for prevention

Whether you’re on the verge of carpal tunnel syndrome, or you’re already dealing with it, simple exercises in the evening may help you prevent the symptoms of this condition. Here are several simple wrist exercises you can do to help prevent carpal tunnel:

1. Stop sign

This stretch is also known as a wrist extension, and starts with your arm outstretched and your hand up like you’re telling someone to stop. You then use your other hand to grasp your fingertips, gently bend your wrist back, and then release. This stretch helps relax your forearm muscles.

2. The fan

To perform this stretch, first make a fist. You then want to fan your fingers out and stretch them as far as you can. Repeat this stretch several times on each hand for several seconds each time.

3. Tendon glides

Tendon glides are a great way to stretch your tendons to ease your symptoms. You start with your forearm facing straight up, and your fingers straight up as well. You’ll then bend your four fingers down into the shape of a hook, and then pull them into a fist and place your thumb on top. After holding it for a few seconds, release and repeat.

4. Wrist flexion

To perform a wrist flexion, you want to extend your arm out with your palm pointing toward the floor. You then flex your wrist so that your fingers point toward the floor. Then, you use your other hand to pull your fingers toward your body, stretching your forearm. Release and repeat several times on each side.

5. Hand squeeze

For this exercise, you’ll need a stress ball or some kind of soft object that you can squeeze in your hand. Put the ball in your hand and squeeze for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this exercise several times and then switch sides.

These exercises should help you to keep your symptoms at bay, but make sure to use heat and ice afterward to avoid any inflammation from the stretches. And of course, if your symptoms persist, you want to make an appointment at our facility for other treatment options that can help.

If you’d like to learn more about preventing carpal tunnel, or you need treatment, call one of our offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, or West Islip, New York, to make an appointment with our team.

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