Millions of people around the nation experience the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. This common condition can cause pain, stiffness, weakness, and numbness in the hands. As a result, work and everyday activities can become difficult or uncomfortable. Many patients report difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, there is an easy way that may help prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Our board certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Tyson Cobb, explains how performing a few stretches throughout the day may help keep you pain-free.
To begin this stretch, hold your hands in front of you at about chest level with the palms together. This is called the prayer position. Slowly move your hands, palms still pressed together, down towards your waist, keeping your hands close to your body. When you feel a stretch, slowly move your hands back to the original position, and then begin again. Repeat a few times. This exercise should be performed every hour or so.
For this exercise, you will also begin by placing your hands together in a prayer position. You should then spread your fingers as wide as you can and lift your palms to create a “steeple” with your fingers still touching. Return to your starting position, keeping your fingers in contact the whole time, and begin again. Repeat this stretch about every hour.
Shake it Out
This one is even easier than the last exercise. Simply shake your hands out as if you were air-drying them after a wash. Many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome who wake at night find this maneuver helpful in reducing the symptoms and it can allow them to get back to sleep.
Hold your right arm out in front of you with your palm facing down. Bend your wrist up towards the ceiling. Take your left hand and use it to gently bend your wrist a little farther in the same direction until you notice a mild stretch in your forearm. Hold for about 20 or 30 seconds, release and repeat with the other arm. You may wish to perform this exercise a few times a day.
These simple maneuvers may help with mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. If symptoms persist, or if your numbness becomes constant, definitive treatment should be sought. Permanent nerve damage can occur if nerve compression goes untreated.
If you would like more information about carpal tunnel syndrome and treatment options, please contact us today. We can answer your questions or help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Cobb.