We have all likely experienced it more than a few times in our lives. After all, we really don’t give our hands a break! Carpal tunnel is an occurrence that affects millions of people daily and can cause a great amount of discomfort. As busy people, we simply don’t have the time to deal with constantly aching hands and wrists. Here are 3 physician-recommended exercises to help win your fight against carpal tunnel:
- Shake It Off! Taylor Swift was right; shaking it off isn’t a bad idea. Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve in your wrist is cramped and tight, so it is important to let loose when dealing with it. With your hands at chest level, shake them up and down as if you are trying to air-dry them. By allowing your hands and wrists to move freely, you are keeping your tendons nice and flexible, which over time will assist in relieving the pain. Note: Playing Taylor Swift during this exercise may speed up the healing process!
- Square Up! No, we don’t mean get ready to fight someone. However, making a fist is the first part of this next exercise. Stretching out the tendons is important while suffering from carpal tunnel, as it allows for everything to flow neatly through the narrow passage of your wrist. Once you have made a fist, slowly stretch out your fingers as far as possible. Then, roll them back into a fist at the same pace. Repeat this process up to 10 times in order to get the blood flowing in your hands. Goodbye, stiffness!
- Bring Out the Dumbbells! Here is your excuse to finally start weight lifting! Now, we aren’t expecting (or recommending) you to lift a 50-pound dumbbell, just something light to give your hand some resistance. Start this exercise with your arm on a flat surface, with your wrist dangling over the edge, and your palm facing the floor. A table or chair will work just fine. In your hand, slowly lift a small weight or dumbbell up and down, using your wrist as the point of the movement. This will get the median nerve moving as it should, thus providing a remedy to the bind your tendons have found themselves in.
Carpal tunnel isn’t any fun for anyone, but it is still an issue that we all will more than likely face eventually. Using these exercises will help relieve some of the pain in your next battle against carpal tunnel.
Dr. Rebeccca Stachniak is a board certified Neurological Spine Surgeon and Medical Director of the Brain & Spine Center of Texas. Dr. Stachniak is part of the faculty at Medtronic as a teaching physician, teaching other spine surgeons on techniques in spine surgery. Having authored many papers, posters, and presentations for major Neurosurgical and Spine related conferences, Dr. Stachniak is highly sought after and regarded around the world speaking at international conferences. Named Top10MD in 2016 – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stachniak, click on her profile or call her office at 972.943.9779.