Carpal Tunnel Hand Exercises – Non Surgical Treatment Options
The quality of your general health can determine your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. By exercising, you increase blood circulation throughout the body, which can help reduce inflammation. There are several factors that determine your risks, but if you can exercise regularly, control your weight, and avoid smoking, you can reduce your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
In addition to general exercise, here are a few hand exercises you can try:
- Before starting any type of hand work, stretch your hands and fingers to warm them up.
- Gently rotate your wrists in a circle for a couple minutes. Do this several times per day to help reduce swelling and increase circulation in your hands and wrists.
- Raise your hands above your head and rotate your arms while simultaneously rotating your wrists.
Learn to relax your shoulders while you work. Always remember to take full, deep breaths while you work, and take frequent breaks to reduce the frequency of repetitive motion.
Diet is always a determining factor to your overall health, so carpal tunnel should logically be considered no different. Here are a few dietary tips that will keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay:
- Some people with carpal tunnel syndrome also have vitamin B6 deficiency. A study by the Portland Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation Center of 441 people found that higher levels of vitamin B6 were associated with fewer carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.Beware that large doses of B6 can have detrimental effects on your central nervous system. Consult your physician on recommended doses.
- Eat fresh pineapple, which contains bromelain, widely known to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, can be taken to increase circulation.
- Increase intake of Vitamin C.
- Take flaxseed oil, which can help burn body fat and reduce inflammation.
- Eat only moderate amount of foods that contain oxalic acid, which blocks calcium absorption. These foods include asparagus, beets, cabbage, and spinach.
- Avoid salt, which promotes water retention.
Keep in mind that natural herbs are not a magic pill. In order for them to work, they must be taken on a regular bases over an extended period of time (usually several weeks) for them to have a beneficial effect. Herbs that have been proven to reduce inflammation:
- Aloe Vera
- Gingko biloba
- Apply an ice pack to the affected area to temporarily reduce inflammation and decrease pain.
- Manage your weight through diet and exercise. Excess fat reduces the pressure to the median nerve.
- Do not wrap your wrist with an Ace bandage. This will cut off circulation and make the problem worse. Instead, purchase a quality wrist brace. This nominal investment will yield huge treatment benefits.
- Practice good posture when working at a desk. When typing, remember to keep your elbows bent.
- When using a hammer, move your whole arm and not just your wrist.
You should learn the art of avoidance. This means reducing, modifying, or staying away altogether from activities that can aggravate your carpal tunnel. If you are an information worker (meaning that you spend most of your day, every day, in front of your computer) you may not able to avoid interacting with a modern technology. However, you may consider investing in a voice recognition application, if feasible. VR technology has made strides over the last decade, and can be another effective tool in your arsenal.