Easy Stretches to Ease the Pain of Carpal Tunnel 

If you experience pain or numbness and tingling in your hands after typing or performing the same hand motion throughout the day, the feeling is could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome. It is caused when a nerve that goes from your arm to your hand is compressed in the carpal tunnel, a small passage in your wrist found at the base of your palm. 

When you feel symptoms of carpal tunnel you should take a break and stretch your wrist to relieve pain. Ignoring or working through the pain will only cause your symptoms to get worse. 

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

When your hand is held in the same position (typing) or performs the same motion over and over (factory jobs, waiting tables, needlework), tendons in your wrist can swell. This swelling takes up space in the carpal tunnel and puts pressure on your median nerve. 

When the median nerve is compressed, you can feel it in your thumb, palm, and first three fingers. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • A weak grip
  • A feeling that your fingers are swollen

How Do I Relieve the Symptoms? 

Thankfully, there are several easy stretches you can do to ease the pain and discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome.  Try a few. One or a combination of a few might be the key to keeping symptoms at bay. 

Shake your hand and wrist: Easy to do day or night, simply shake your hands and wrists. 

Make a fist, then a stop sign: 

  • Make a tight fist with your hand.
  • Open your fingers and thumb into a stop sign (your fingers should be straight up and down).
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Make a fist, then a fan:

  • Make a tight fist with your hand.
  • Open your fingers and thumb into a fan (your fingers should be stretched far apart).
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Simple wrist stretch: 

  • Sit at a desk or table.
  • Place your elbow and forearm on the table and let your hand (palm up) dangle off the edge.
  • Begin with your hand in a neutral position (not lifting or hanging down) and your fingers straight.
  • Raise the palm of your hand until your fingers point to the ceiling. 
  • Hold for 5 seconds. 
  • Return to the neutral position. 
  • Lower the palm of your hand until your fingers point to the floor. 
  • Hold for 5 seconds. 
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times. 

Wrist flex and extend stretch:

  • This can be done while sitting or standing. 
  • Extend one arm in front of you in a neutral position with the palm of your hand facing the floor. 
  • Lower the palm of your hand until your fingers point to the floor. 
  • You can use your other hand to increase the tension until you feel a gentle pull in your wrist. 
  • Hold for 20 seconds. 
  • Return to the neutral position. 
  • Lift the palm of your hand up until your fingers point to the ceiling. 
  • You can use your other hand to increase the tension until you feel a gentle pull in your wrist. 
  • Hold for 20 seconds. 
  • Return to the neutral position. 
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times. 

Please Note: 

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start slowly and may come and go. Over time, they can become constant and become worse. If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or have hand or wrist pain it is important to talk to your health care practitioner as soon as you can. In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment can relieve your pain and prevent long-term damage to your hand and wrist.