What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
It refers to the set of symptoms caused by the entrapment of the median nerve in the wrist. These symptoms range from discomfort to disabling pain in the wrist, hand and the forearm. A common cause is the repetitive movement of the hand and the wrist in jobs or hobbies which require repetitive hand movements, vibration, unusual hand positions, strong gripping and mechanical stress on the palm. The risks of developing this syndrome can be achieved by making these exercise part of the routine. It has been suggested that exercise reduces the swelling, thus reducing the pain associated with the condition. (1)
Exercise for Prevention of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Extend both wrists and fingers as if you are critically reviewing your finger nails. Keep the elbow straight. Hold the position for a count of 5. Straiten both wrists and relax the fingers. Make a fist with both the hands. Then bend both the wrists downward (like a zombie with fists). Hold this position for a count of 5. Straighten both hands and fingers. Relax your fingers. Repeat the whole exercise 10 times. Then relax your arms. (2)
Another set of exercise requires you to sit up straight and bring you right forearm towards your chest. With the other hand, push your fingers on the right side. Hold for 5 seconds. Then bend those fingers in the opposite direction. Hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other hand. Do 4 sets alternating the hands. (3)
Exercise for Treatment of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
The exercise routine should be started with a warm up session. First, massage the hand. Then bend it in all directions with your other hand, stretching as much as you can. Bend your fingers back with your hand. Then, keeping your arms straight in front of you, Rotate the wrists in clockwise as well as anti clockwise directions. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Then bring your arms above your head and rotate the wrists. Then keeping your arms above, open your hands and move them in a “wiper like” fashion from side to side. Then bring your arms to your sides and let your hands, wrists and forearm relax. (4)
Another set of exercise requires holding the hand in 5 different positions, each for Approx 5 seconds. Start with straightening your hands. Then make a hook with your fingers, hold and then straighten your hand. Make a tight fist, hold and then straighten your hand. Make a fist with your fingers outside the fist, hold and then straighten your hand. Bend your fingers at the knuckles, hold and then straighten your hand. Repeat the whole set of exercise 3 to 5 times a day. (5)
1. Effect of splinting and exercise on intraneural edema of the median nerve in carpal tunnel syndrome –an MRI study to reveal therapeutic mechanisms. J Orthop Res. 2012 Aug;30(8):1343-50. doi: 10.1002/jor.22064. Epub 2012 Jan 9.
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