This is the Top 3 Exercises for Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves a nerve called the median nerve.
The median nerve starts at C5 to T1 which is right here. So about the middle lower part
of your neck. The nerve travels down your arm, down the front of your arm, in front
your elbow and into the hand. It innervates or gives sensation to the thumb, index finger,
middle finger and half of the ring finger. So that is your median nerve. That is the nerve
that is problematic in carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is right here.
So carpal means wrist bones. There is actually a little tunnel formed with a little
sheath over top where that median nerve goes through. People with carpal tunnel syndrome
what they will see is they will have numbness in that area. Then this area right
here in the thumb is called the thenar eminence, that area will begin wasting away.
What happens is frequently that is becoming pinched here. Also what can happen
is you can get pressure on the median nerve in the neck, in this area right here
especially with an elevated first rib. It can also happen down the arm as well. So these are
the top 3 exercises that we do for carpal tunnel syndrome. Frequent problems are this.
This movement right here. If that is painful or causes numbness or tingling into
your hands especially into this area, that is carpal tunnel. That is called Phalen’s or
reverse Phalen’s test. Exercise #1 that we do for carpal tunnel syndrome.
To stretch the median nerve, you do palm up, hand down, elbow straight. You
should feel a stretch right through here. Then what you can do is take your ear to the
opposite shoulder. So you head is going away from you hand. In the clinic we do a
30 second hold. As people get more advanced, they put their hand on the wall
and lean the opposite way. 30 second hold, 3 times. Another thing that we do is a something called
a median nerve release and it goes like this: Hand stretched out, make a fist, first.
Hold it for 5 seconds. Hand out straight, hold 5 seconds. Make almost like a puppet
position, hold 5 seconds. Palm up, hold 5 seconds. Reach underneath, grab the thumb,
pull back, hold 5 seconds. That is exercise #2. Frequently we will have people
go through that 2 or 3 times. Exercise #3 is called a first rib stretch.
What we do is this: we take a towel, if I have carpal tunnel on the right side, and I have
some sort of tightness right here in what is called the brachial plexus but basically right
here, this area. If somebody has carpal tunnel and they are going like this a lot
especially if they are a right-sided sleeper, this is an area that we want to address. You can get
carpal tunnel symptoms from pressure on the median nerve right here. It is frequently
missed even with an x-ray or an MRI. What we do is we put the towel directly on
this area which your first rib is right here. The towel is over top of your shoulder, pull
down, one arm in the front, one hand in the back. Then you lean the opposite direction.
You are going to feel a really nice stretch right through here. In the clinic here, we
do a 30 second hold, 3 times. That is the top 3 exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome.