One of the most recommended treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome is exercise. Wrist exercises are most effective when used in combination with other treatment.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is identified by a tingling or numbness in the hand (specifically the thumb, index, and middle fingers) due to pressure on the nerves in the wrist.
It can be caused by many different things like pregnancy, obesity, frequent, repeated motions by the wrist and hand (like playing the piano or typing on the keyboard). It can also be caused by an injury to the wrist, arthritis or even diabetes.
One of the most recommended treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome is exercise. Of course, wrist exercises are most effective when used in combination with other treatment methods like reducing the activity that causes the pain or wearing splints on your hands and wrists.
The exercises can help to keep the wrist and hands flexible and stretched out to curtail present pain and prevent future strain. These exercises are best for those with mild to moderate cases of the condition, but may not be as helpful to those with severe carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here are some of the therapist-recommended exercises:
Fist flexion exercises require you to keep your wrist in a neutral position with fingers out straight, then you bend your fingers at the second knuckle, making a hook shape and then return to a straight hand. Next, bend your fingers down at the bottom knuckles, making a straight fist and then straighten the fingers. Finally, bend your hand into a full fist and then straighten the fingers.
This series should be done 10 times each, three to five times a day. This will help stretch out your tendons and allow them to glide through the wrist tissue. They are believed to reduce pressure on the median nerve, the one running through the wrist. They stretch the carpal ligaments and increase blood flow through the area.
Another exercise is the median glide nerve gliding exercise. You hold your wrist in a neutral position while moving your thumb and hand into different positions. Start by bending your wrist backward, then using your other hand, pull the fingers backward for a good stretch, then pull your thumb back and away from your palm. Once you have completed this series, try it with your palm facing up. You can repeat these motion five times each, three to five times a day.
And although you may not think they are related, should and neck stretches can also be helpful. You can start with shoulder shrugs. With your arms at your sides, raise your shoulders while squeezing them back and then releasing them back down.
While exercises may not completely eliminate carpal tunnel syndrome, they can measurable reduce the pain and increase the mobility of your hands and wrists.
About the Author:
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