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5 Simple Hand Exercises to Manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

>> Oct 11, 2017

According to US Bureau of Labour Statistics, workers afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome missed about 31 working days in 2016. This is not news; the median days away from work due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was 30 days in 1995 according to data from the same bureau.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are several causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and nearly everyone is at risk of being afflicted by the same. Some experts lay the blame on lifestyle and genetic factors. But what all are in agreement about is that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an uncomfortable and painful condition.

This medical condition occurs when pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the hand. The median controls the movement and feeling of your thumb, and also the movement of all your fingers except your pinkie. The carpal tunnel is narrowed as a result, usually from swelling. This is according to WebMD.

Potential causes are:

  •  Repetitive actions such as typing, gardening, chopping food and handling tools, especially in actions that your hands are lower than your wrists
  • Health conditions like hypothryroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes
  •  Even pregnancy may cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterised by pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand from pressure on the median nerve in your wrist as per WebMD.
It becomes difficult to work, play or even just relax due to the throbbing pain.


There are different ways you can manage this condition, but the earlier it is diagnosed the better the chances of effective management. Some of the ways to manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

  •  Hand exercises
  •  Wrist guards
  • Surgery
  • Periodic breaks in repetitive work requiring wrist movements
  •  Have correct work posture
  • Alternate your  hands during tasks
  • Use good pressure when holding tools or typing
  • Use of medicine to lessen swelling – but this be a temporary solution
  • Ultrasound and Acupuncture therapy – These techniques have been shown to be very effective
  • Alternative complementary medicine – Be sure to check with your doctor first.

Hand exercises to treat and manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

These include:

  • Make a fist. Slide your fingers upward until they are pointing up straight. Repeat five to 10 times.
  •  Make a fist. Release your hand and fan out your fingers, stretching them as far as you can. Repeat five to 10 time
  • Spiders doing push-ups – Healthline recommends this exercise that involves joining the palms together then spreading the fingers apart as far you can, then “steeple” the fingers by separating palms of hands, but keeping fingers together
  • Shake hands like you’ve just washed them and are trying to air dry them.
  •  Stretch – Hold out arm with palm facing downwards then press the palm with the other arm.

Dickens Pitt regularly writes on health related topics. He is currently keen on arthritis and how to use simple hand exercises for rehabilitation of arthritic conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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