Exercises For Carpal Tunnel

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 17, 2012

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when there is pressure exerted on the median nerve which extends between the forearm and the hand. Pressing or squeezing of the nerve at the wrist leads to symptoms of pain, tingling and numbness. The nerve is housed within the carpal tunnel which is a narrow passage consisting of ligament and bone. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to affect both wrists.

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In severe cases, corrective surgery may be required so that the pressure on the median nerve may be alleviated. One can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from occurring by performing simple wrist exercises. It is advisable to consult a doctor or a yoga professional before beginning these exercises so that any further damage to the wrist may be prevented.


Exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome must be performed regularly for best results. A simple exercise for the wrists involves extending both arms in front of the body. Then move the backs of the palms and the fingers towards your body. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax the wrists. Then while still holding your arms in front of you keep your wrists straight and curl your fingers into a fist. Squeeze and hold for 10 seconds. The next step is to bend the wrists downwards and hold for 10 seconds. Relax, straighten the wrists and bring your arms back down. You may repeat this exercise about 8 to 10 times. It is advisable to perform this exercise at regular intervals. Exercises for carpal tunnel must be done as often as possible and you can take short breaks from work to perform them.

In this next exercise, form a fist with your right hand with the palm side facing upwards. Place your left palm over the fist and attempt to push downwards. Resist this pressure with your right fist, while keeping it completely straight. Stop after 10 seconds. A variation of this is to turn the fist so that knuckle of the thumb is facing upwards. Then exert pressure with your left palm as in the previous exercise. Another exercise involving the fist begins with turning the right fist so that the palm is facing downwards. Place your other palm over the knuckles of the right fist and push downwards. Maintain for 10 seconds and then stop exerting pressure. Ensure that you try to maintain the equilibrium throughout. The exercise can then be performed with the left fist. Yoga poses such as the Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog pose) should be avoided as they exert the wrists considerably.

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