ERGONOMICS BULLETIN


SUBJECT: Exercising to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 


Research conducted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has determined that wrist exercises at the start of work and during periodic breaks can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. To be effective, the exercises should be done at the start of each work shift and after each break. The wrist exercises have been shown to decrease median nerve pressure and the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Workers with hand -intensive jobs should do a five-minute exercise warm-up before starting work, just as runners stretch before a run to prevent injury. The exercises are as follows and are are pictured below this article.

  1. Extend and stretch both wrists and fingers acutely as if they are in a hand-stand position. Hold this position for a count of five.
  2. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers for a count of five.
  3. Make a tight fist with both hands. Then bend both wrists down while keeping the fist. Hold for a count of five.
  4. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers for a count of five.
  5. Repeat each exercise 10 times, then hang arms loosely at side and shake them for a couple of seconds.

Please begin incorporating these exercises into your daily work or regular workout routine. If you do not exercise regularly, now is good time to start. The orthopedic surgeons also suggest that newly-diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome patients may want to limit some everyday activities that could put stress on the median nerve for the first seven to ten days of nonsurgical treatment. Many of these simple tasks can increase pressure on the median nerve of the wrist, thus worsening the condition. However, it is best that the patient follow treatment guidelines recommended by his or her personal physician.

In the long run, daily exercise combined with job modification can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome development.

Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Exercises