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How to Stretch To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By Edited May 13, 2015 2 2

Practice these exercises hourly to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

Stretches to Prevent Carpal Tunnel
Stretching the wrists, hands, arms and shoulders can help to minimize and even to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome especially if your work involves repetitive motions. Many occupations lend themselves to problems with the nerves in the hands due to repetitive motions over months and years. My husband recently had to have the surgery to correct cpt as he probably didn't start stretching soon enough. His advice is to do these exercises routinely when you first start feeling pain in the wrists, forearms or elbows.

Learn these simple exercises that can be performed daily and throughout the day to lengthen the tendons which are swollen and compressed with carpal tunnel. Stretching also helps to decompress the median nerve which is the main nerve affected with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Difficulty: Easy


Things You'll Need:

Time for stretching exercises


Desire to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome

Step 1

Place arms outstretched in front of body. Raise hands so that fingertips reach the ceiling. Gently stretch hands back towards the face as far as comfortable while keeping the arms straightened and hold for up to 20 seconds. Bring arms down to sides of body and then repeat this stretch again.

Step 2

Continuing to hold arms outstretched, bend hands down so that fingertips point to the floor while keeping the arms straightened. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds. Bring arms back down to sides of body and then repeat this stretch again.

Step 3

With arms in front of body, bend thumbs inward towards palm of hand, use forefinger to further stretch thumb until a comfortable stretch is felt. Hold this stretch for another 15 seconds to elongate the tendons in the hands and wrists and to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Step 4

With arms again stretched, rotate hands in a counter clockwise circle for up to 20 seconds. Repeat going in a clockwise direction and continue.

Step 5

Stand straight and face a wall or other flat surface. Press palms into the wall at eye level and push gently until a light stretch is felt in the wrists, arms and shoulders. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Relax to a normal position and repeat this stretch again.

Step 6

Press both palms together with fingers aiming towards the ceiling. Lift arms at the elbow and press the palms together tightly to get a good stretch in the wrist area holding for 10 seconds. Rotate the palms towards the front of your body and then away from your body as you continue to press the palms tightly. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds.

Step 7

Take one arm and cross over breast area. Use the other arm to hold the elbow area to assist the stretch to the shoulder and upper arm. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat with the other arm.

Step 8

Repeat these stretching exercises hourly to reduce the chances of carpal tunnel injury and to help to prevent problems if engaging in any repetitive work such as online writing, hairdressing, massaging, cooking, cleaning, etc.

Use the listed rubber bands at the end to get a range of stretches for your hands and wrists. These are strong, will last for longer than office bands. Use them throughout your day at your desk and when you take a break from your work.

Get an early start on prevention of carpal tunnel, especially for writers!


 Tips & Warnings

  • Seek medical attention if numbness, tingling or pain persists in hands, wrists or arms

  • Apply a heat pad to wrists and hands to increase circulation or wear a wrist support

  • Stretching should not cause pain, stop and rest if pain ensues

  • Adding yoga to the routine exercise regime will increase the body's overall stretching and help to reduce the chances of getting carpal tunnel

  • Use an ice pack to sore wrists, hands or arms to reduce swelling and pain commonly associated with carpal tunnel or tendonitis.

Magnets can help with the pain from carpal tunnel

Magnetic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Support from AME
Amazon Price: $28.00 $13.00 Buy Now
(price as of May 13, 2015)
Try this magnet support that my husband recommends for relief of constant pain associated with carpal tunnel along with exercises.

Strong rubber bands to increase your stretching

Wrist support helps while you work!



Jul 15, 2011 1:54am
Will bookmark this so as to do more exercise. I have been lazy so this article has been a timely reminder.
Feb 1, 2012 10:39pm
I know now that I need to start doing more of these exercises with my chef job and writing too, great share and a thumbs up! Cheers.
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