Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition resulting in hand and sometimes neck and arm complaints. This can include numbness or tingling in the fingers, leading to dexterity problems such as difficulty buttoning clothing or picking up small objects. An individual with CTS can also experience strength loss / weakness when turning door knobs, opening jars, and even turning the key to start a car. One big problem with CTS is people often wait too long before having it treated thinking it will “…go away” on its own. CTS rarely gets better without some form of treatment and seeing a chiropractor makes perfect sense prior to considering surgical intervention.
So, the question remains, “what can I do for CTS?” There are several things a CTS sufferer can do to help manage their condition. Some risk factors such as gender and age cannot be changed but other factors that may increase pressure inside the carpal tunnel can be alleviated by maintaining a healthy weight, taking mini-breaks at work, modifying the workstation or work activities, wearing a wrist splint at night, and performing exercises to stretch the wrist area.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Oklahoma found two out of three patients with mild-to-moderate CTS avoided surgery by performing wrist-specific exercises.
Here is one such routine you can try:
- Step A: Extend and stretch both wrists and fingers acutely as if they are in a standing push-up position. Hold for a count of 5.
- Step B: Straighten both wrists and relax fingers.
- Step C: Make a tight fist with both hands.
- Step D: Then, bend both wrists down while keeping the fist. Hold for a count of 5.
- Step E: Straighten both wrists and relax fingers, for a count of 5.
- Step F: Then, let your arms hang loosely at the side and shake them for a few seconds.
This exercise should be repeated 10 times and can be repeated several times a day.