Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Owww. Oh man, this must be carpal
tunnel I think I’m gonna Google it. Actually, it’s carpal tunnel syndrome. You’ll hear people
say they’ve got those carpal tunnels, but it’s kind of like that sciatic nerve, everyone
has carpal tunnels, but carpal tunnel syndrome is actually when you have some pain, that
pressure in there. A lot of people get it from working on the computer a long time.
So, these are gonna be some stretches to stretch it out and hopefully get you feeling better.
DIsclaimer alert, though, lots of times when people the wrist pain, the numbness and tingling
in their fingers and their hands, it’s actually coming from their neck. It’s not carpal tunnel
syndrome, so it’s very important to go get a true diagnosis from your doctor or therapist.
So let’s move along from there. The first stretch that I’m gonna show you is just kind
of a warm up. And what you’re gonna do is your gonna put your arm straight out. You’re
gonna have your hand in a fist position. And you’re just gonna move it up and down. So
just a little pause at the end range there and then coming back up a little pause at
the end range there. When you go up this way, you should feel the stretch underneath your
wrist and arm here. And when you go down, you should feel the stretch up on top. Now
if you go down you want to curl your fingers in. That’s what gives you the most stretch.
If that’s painful you can relax your fingers a little bit and stretch down this way. Same
thing going up. If you go up this way with your fingers curled, that’s not as much as
a stretch. and so if you open up your handI mean, um, if you open up your
hand with your fingers up, that’s gonna give you an extra stretch through here. So same
kind of thing, just a little pause at the top, and then curl your fingers and go down.
The next kind of stretch/warmup is turning your fist up. You can have your thumb on top
on the outside for a little less of a stretch, you’re gonna go down this way. You’re gonna
feel the stretch on top. And then you’re gonna come back up, you’re gonna feel the stretch
on the bottom. Now if you want a little more stretch, if that’s not getting you enough
stretch, tuck your thumb inside. So you’re holding that thumb underneath. And you’re
gonna go down, feeling that stretch on the top. And then go up, feeling the stretch on
the bottom there. So just about, you know, 10 or 15 times each way going up and down.
And then tucking that thumb in and go back and forth. Now we’re gonna move into an actual
stretch with some over pressure. So if those were easy, you weren’t quite feeling the stretch,
we’re gonna add some extra pressure in there to give you more of a stretch. So you want
your arm still straight out. You want that elbow locked. You’re gonna bring your hand
up, those fingers are straight. You’re gonna take your other hand and put some pressure
on it. So you’re just pushing out. Now this time you’re actually gonna hold it for 30
seconds. And you’re gonna do the 30 seconds and you’re gonna do it 3 times each. And after
you do the 30 seconds there, then your gonna bring it down, you curl those fingers under
and you give yourself some pressure there. So same thing down that way. 3 times for 30
seconds. So again just going up, hand almost in a stop sign, extra pressure, and then curling
it down and curling those fingers in, extra pressure. Now the next one is when you want
to use both hands. You can use both hands, this is called the prayer stretch. Just like
it sounds. You want to bring your hands together. You want to have your elbows out. Some people
might only be able to get to here, and they’re gonna feel the stretch. You want to feel the
stretch under both of the hands right here, through that carpal tunnel. And so, you’re
gonna pop those elbows out, but if you can bring all the way down to here, and you want
to hold it for 30 seconds for 3 times. Now the last stretch I’m gonna show you is gonna
be a big stretch, and we’re gonna do it up against the wall, so let’s get on up there
and I’ll show you this one. Alright, so using the wall is the next step up from the over
pressure with your hand, so you’re basically using the wall as your hand to give you that
extra over pressure. So it’s the same thing, you want to keep your elbow straight and locked
out. The whole arm’s straight, and your gonna try to get as much bend in your wrist as you
can. You can push in to it a little bit to straighten out that hand, but you want to
hold it for 30 seconds for 3 times each. Now if this one still doesn’t feel like it’s giving
you as much of a stretch, turn your hand upside down. This is gonna be the step up. This is
gonna be the biggest stretch. And so same kind of thing, you want your arm to be straight,
you’re gonna feel the stretch all the way up through here. Your fingers are pointed
down, and you’re gonna stretch it for 30 seconds, 3 times. Alright, so there you have it. Those
are some stretches for your wrist for possible carpal tunnel syndrome. So if you liked it,
please go hit the like button, leave us some comments, and oh my goodness, look at this
website. That looks AWESOME!

100 Replies to “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Hello Dr. Jo its just started feeling numbness in my left hand I played guitar and my job is a biling clerk more on computer.. Is this a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome i woke up at night and my fingres are numb except the little finger. So I did shake my hands to flow the blood in my hands it ease a littlebit. i stop playing guitar i notice everytim i bend down my hand i feel some tendons or ligaments like hitting each other and feel some tingling when i bend it.. Is that a sign of carpal tunnel? Also the massage therapist said i have tight muscles..

  2. i can't even bend my wrist up or down like you did in the first exercise 🙁 still need to see a Dr. just felt this pain right now

  3. Thanks, these stretches definately helped. I like your videos. Much better than most of the medical videos. You have a gift of connecting with people with a casual approach that most people appreciate. I am a subscriber, now.

  4. when I curl my fists upwards like you did at the beginning of the video I actually feel a stretch at the back of my hand, instead of the bottom. Also I am not sure if I actually have carpal tunnel issues. I intern at a laboratory and when using tweezers (pinching them) for longer than like 20 or so seconds the large tendon that connects my thumb to my palm starts tightening alot and I get some aches and burns. This is the primary problem for me, as I do not have any other major finger/hand pains or aches. Any insight on this would be great, thanks!

  5. Thank god, Saves me some surgery, I was feeling some pain and then it got wiped away for about 2-4 weeks then I just do it again! Thanks Doc Jo

  6. I liked your video.  I had and accident last July, Can't make a full fist. Dr. told me I have pain syndrome. Therapy is not  helping. My fingers still stiffed and numb.  . Now I was told I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis. I will do your exercises and see if they work. Thanks for showing us how to do them at home.

  7. Dr. Jo, can you please upload back exercise & core training for sciatica and degenerative disc disease please??

  8. hello Doc! thanks for the video. i started getting pins and needles/ oversensitivity on the top half of my left hand thumb. had this for a week now, after i did some shoulder and neck stretches ( with added pressure ). did the door frame shoulder stretch ( with my hands up and on the sides ). i will be getting a diagnosis done soon as you said. but if i have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, will these exercises cure me? or are they more of a suppression exercises ?
    regards and thanks again 

  9. My ring finger on my right hand has been bugging me. Everytime I bend it, it locks and I cant lift it unless I use my other hand. Sometimes it hurts to lift it back up. I dont know whats wrong with it

  10. Thanks for the video, Dr. Jo. Can I do these stretches everyday for a long time? Could there be any harmful side effects, like muscle stiffening, if I continue to stretch even after I become healthy again?

  11. Thanks for the video, I'll be trying these out. I've recently started getting pain on my wrist I'm guessing on the ulna where it feels like a small ball. But the pain is mainly in that area. I've been wearing a splint day and night now and been taking some medication and that doesn't seem to help. Opening my hand also causes some pain in that area as well as lifting my hand from the table. 

  12. I did those stretches….it helped…. but 2minutes later….I had major pain from my finger tips all the way up to my shoulder joint . I could feel a lot of unwanted pressure…..and is serious pain it almost is too much whole arm especially in elbow area is thumping and very sore

  13. My surgery was work-related injury this happen for years ago and I'm still a lot of pain yeah I do activities that's part of my job

  14. I saw a video once where the person did the very last stretch you have — palm against wall, fingers facing down – and then with his other hand reached over and pulled the thumb up. I have found that very helpful for relieving, surprisingly enough, ulnar nerve irritation! I was wondering if you think it is safe.

  15. HOTTIEST DANG YOU ARE TROPHIES !!!! KEEP IT UP plus I LOVE YOUR DOG sleep on the leather couch with bestfriend "green pillow case"  its truly remind me of my Blackie Black Lab he does same  thing .. Hop it on my leather couch and head thud on pillow.. just for short nap.. 

  16. That one with the hands in a praying position is a good stretch for the upper arms and shoulders that I have NEVER felt! Thank you!

  17. I am a student, and want to learn all the name of muscles from my medical terminology course, so I watch your video.  Your video tells me what muscle is located where.  In the medical dictation course, I know what that medical word pronounce. Youtube is helping me with my study.

  18. Hey…thanks for adding the caption! It has been difficult to find a video that has a caption…especially that I'm Deaf! ^.^

  19. My hand has been basically not working. Ive been not able to move my hand up or move any of my fingers up and has rendered it useless and was really hard to try hand do the exercise.the top of my hand is numb but only on my thumb and pointer finger. It has been like this for a day can you help me?

  20. The exercise with the arm I'm going to do for sure! My left arm is my biggest problem, shoulder elbow and wrist.When I go swimming make movements in the water.The worst thing to me is to not move …. Yes move is my best friend.
    Your dog is okay comfortable …. lol

  21. I was diagnosed with carpol tunnle syndrome back in 2009 during my third trimester of pregnancy, and my Dr had me get a brace which actually work fairly well. After I gave birth it's like it disappeared. Well within the last 2 year's it's slowly progressing, however When I wear the brace it seems to make it worse. Could the pain and tingling be something else? I'm almost positive it's cts because in my work I'm constantly using my hands in a repetitive manor. Please help because it wakes me every morning and doesn't stop for close to 2 hours

  22. Thanks for the video!  Not only do I work on a computer, but I'm in school to become a Court Reporter; needless to say, I'm in a bit of pain!  Your technique has helped! 

  23. I don't think I have carpal tunnel syndrome, but if I do, how do I know? I game a lot, and click a lot (in minecraft, don't judge XD) in a certain way, but I don't think it will give me carpal tunnel. I asked my doctor and showed him the position, but he said to keep the wrist straight, using a mouse pad shown below, with a wrist rest.

    I click like this: (Not my hand, rights go to LaughingGraphic, if this is copyright, please tell me! :D) I don't currently use an ankle rest mouse pad, and my click speed is usually 10 clicks per second, trying pretty hard.

    Sorry this took too long, and looks a little weird, but if you could help me out, that'd be great! Thanks!

  24. If laughter is the best medicine, then today should be a day of healing because it's International Moment of Laughter Day! Although Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is no laughing matter, maybe this video will make you laugh!

  25. Hello dr.Jo… I hv become a big fan of yours. Your way of explaining exercises is awesome and interesting . I will be writing to u my problems in details but virtually I hv been a patient with chronic joint pains , OA of knees, tennis elbow, Golfers elbow. Pivd. Spondylolisthesis with severe wound like pain in lower rt. side of lumbar, radiating to shooting pain in rt. hip, lately developed severe cervical spondylolisis as I hurt my shoulders twice with panel of door falling on it. Spasms in shoulders and what not. Tired up of going to doctors and PTs in Chandigarh. India. Bt ur videos hv given great support to me. I'll be writing to u any my present health conditions. Till the, I wish u all the best for ur work. You hv charismatic persona God bless you!

  26. I love the goofy presentation, perhaps will stick for some more vids. It's actually helping 🙂 Thanks Doc Jo

  27. Thanks so much for these stretches. My doctor thinks I have carpal tunnel syndrome, I had to sleep with braces for a month and take rest to see if it cleared up, but the pain and tingling didn't go away. I can finally go to the neurologist in three weeks to find out what my real issue is. I'm a student, so still have to use the computer to write my thesis and the pain is driving me insane sometimes. Did these stretches and felt some nice relief. Thank you thank you!

  28. Hi Dr. Jo i was told i had this syndrome, my thumbs & 3rd fingers if i move them i can feel bones cracking and i felt pain, are your exercises good for these situation?

  29. Thank you so much Dr., you exercises are SUPER comfortable and beneficial. Especially your emphasis on keeping arms straight.

    I'm a software engineer major and I have pain and reddish color in my carpal tunnel after working for couple hours. Your advice was really precious. Cute dog btw!

    One thing I would like to add, I saw somewhere on the internet a tutor adding an extra thing to your last exercise; namely using the other hand to bring the thumbs up in the inverse-hand wall exercise. It does take the stress up a notch but I wonder if that's a beneficial practice or not.

  30. hey Dr. Jo. I like your videos, I find them informational and down-to-earth, and figured this was worth a shot. I have been dealing with bilateral wrist and thumb pain since last June. At first, things like de Quervain's, intersection syndrome, and a few others were mentioned. I received shots (in two different locations) each arm. Nothing changed and it got worse. I was put on anti-inflammatories and they didn't work either. I ended up seeing about seven doctors in total and at a certain point someone mentioned RSD/CRPS. There's been debate over whether that is it or not and as recently as last month someone told me I do not have it. I have had lots of tests and blood work (to rule out autoimmune diseases, because I seem to have become injury prone) and the only thing people really noticed was mild carpal tunnel in one arm; which is weird because I have pain in both arms. I have been on gabapentin since last October or November. It helps, but only certain areas. The primary area of pain has died down a lot, however since then I have had carpal tunnel like pain, but nobody will treat me for carpal tunnel. Despite what the EMG says, I believeI have some kind of nerve compression. I believe this because the pain started after the purchase of a new bike. The bike ended up being too big and I know poorly fitted bikes can cause all kinds of neuropathies; two of which are ulnar neuropathy carpal Tunnel. I am starting to doubt the CRPS diagnosis, because I have none of the external symptoms (like extreme swelling or discoloration). I do have some inflammation, just not a lot. I received a stellate ganglion block in January in one side and it has helped a little bit. I was immediately prescribed physical therapy, which may one of my arms worse. Since PT I have developed a lump/inflammation on my wrist (where you buckle watch) and some carpal bossing on my right hand. I had neither of these before physical therapy. Any theories?

  31. 1,000 likes, that's me, lol. Thanks for the exercises. Have a lot of pain in my elbow. Going to try these.

  32. I just need you to know…

    For the past month or so I'd been dealing with an almost untouchable pain and burning feeling in my thumbs and in parts of my hands/wrists (both hands, that is). As an artist and copywriter at 30 years old, it was more than debilitating, I was totally depressed. It felt like a death sentence.

    I'd been stretching, bracing, using anti-inflammatory drugs, exercising, icing, heating, resting, etc… to no avail. Then I watched this. I had watched the De Quervain's Syndrome Stretches video a few weeks ago, but in this video you warned about possible neck issues before the stretching even began.

    And guess what? That's what it is.

    That evening, my partner told me to try to add on this little adjustment to the forward fold yoga move I do to stretch. I simply bent over at the waist and sort of hung there, but then I clasped my fingers behind me on the back of my head (like where my head meets my neck). You can lift the neck slightly, not to strain, though, and… it was nearly instant relief.

    That might help someone out there too? Either way, I am grateful for your disclaimer here. Thank you!


  33. Very funny 😀 could you please make a video on hand and fingers problems related to neck, as you say in this video? It would be helpful for me…. TIA

  34. What about pain all through my neck from my wrist on the right side, Im a card dealer sometimes i have pain what exercise should I do?

  35. This was fantastic!! Really helpful.
    .. Have you got really big hands Jo or is it the camera angle? That's not meant to be rude. Big hands big heart ❤️❤️

  36. Thanks so much for this video, my symptoms kept me up all last night, these really helped, I think bilateral surgery is in the near future for me though. It's interfering with my work. The other day I was setting up for intubation (I'm an rt) and honestly I couldn't grip anything to open it, had to get a pair of scissors to open things it was bad.

  37. This is the most complete set of wrist stretches, and they work! Many folks sprint off to the Orthopedist who surprise offers to perform surgery. These stretches will keep me away from the knife forever! Thanks Dr. JO!!!

  38. Hi Doc. Thank you for reply me. Well, I am a Reflexologist therapist and I used to do thumb a lot. But last some time I feel pain end of radius. No, I didn't injured anyhow. Also, I drove bike also. Please help me to free from this pain.

  39. Thank you, this is very helpful and am doing this regular now, hope it will save me the nerve test and operation, thank you for sharing

  40. I get the exercises, but what is really happening inside the tunnel? Are they becoming enlarged and freeing up more space inside for the tendon and the nerves? What is the stretching doing anatomically?

  41. Hi Joe ,I don't know exact it is carpal tunnel or tingerness I don't know.i ve tingling ,numbness,nd pin pain in my right hand wrist area only .after seen ur exercise on youtube,I feel relaxed ,thanks for ur exercise.can u tell me what is my problem

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