I recently met with a friend and noticed a brace on his hand. I asked him what happened, and he let me know he was dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel affects millions of people in America each year, but doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes it. It’s likely a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, and it’s commonly found in people who make repeated movements with their hands and wrists.
Symptoms often include wrist pain, numbness, and stiffness.
My friend told me about his diagnosis and that his doctor had stopped short of sending him to a physiotherapist; the reason being that he had recently moved and his doctor did not know any specialists in the area.
So the recommended treatment plan was to wear a brace.
And wearing a brace can certainly offer some help, but in most cases, like my friends, it is not going to be enough. Performing exercises and movements to loosen and strengthen the joint may lead to better results.
Performing movements throughout the day may help prevent or minimize the impact of flare-ups. Here are some moves to try if you’re suffering joint pain from carpal tunnel.
Finger Pushups: Start with your fingertips touching and pointing down towards the floor. Spread your fingers apart as far as possible, then “steeple” them by separating your palms but keeping the fingertips pressed together.
It’s kind of like your hands doing push-ups off of each other.
Stretching Wrist Flexors: Extend arms in front of you with your palms up. Bend the wrist back and point your hand towards the floor, using your other hand to gently bend the wrist pack a little further until you feel a forearm stretch.
Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat a few times with each hand.
Shake: Simply shake your hands like you’ve just washed them and are trying to get the water off.