Because carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is technically a tendonitis that happens to be near a nerve (the median nerve), one treatment option for CTS is to manage the tendonitis and by doing so, the pressure on the median nerve will resolve. Also, because the movement of the hand and wrist are controlled by opposite functioning muscles (that is, when we flex the wrist and fingers, the palm side tendons are doing the job and when we extend the wrist/fingers, the back of the forearm and hand tendons are doing the work), these opposite functioning actions need to be balanced. Moreover, if the muscles on one side of the forearm are tight and inflamed, the muscles on the opposite side usually are as well.
Therefore, an exercise program for the forearm and hand should include BOTH sides, not just the flexor or palm side of the forearm/hand where the carpal tunnel is located. Perform these exercises multiple times a day, holding for 3-10 second at a time. You can modify #2 and #3 by NOT using the opposite hand to pull but rather, simply make the movement without the opposite hand assisting in the stretch. That way, you can perform BOTH at the same time IF your time is short (such as when performing these during a busy work day, for example).
table of three exercises for thumb stretch carpal stretch and extensor stretch
Feel for the stretch where the arrows are pointing – it should be a “good” hurt/stretch! Give us a call at Pro Rehab Chiropractic Rehabilitation 302-652-BACK(2225).