Exercises to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain

Shahid Iquebal   by Shahid Iquebal, M.Pharm.    Last updated on April 22, 2019,

exercises for carpal tunnel pain

Exercises for carpal tunnel pain: What can you do to relieve carpal tunnel pain by exercise?

People having carpal tunnel experience severe pain caused by the compression of median nerve in carpel tunnel of the wrist. Many people describe this pain like the feeling of electric shock.

Besides getting medical treatment approved by your doctor, carpal tunnel exercises and carpal tunnel treatment physiotherapy may also help. Try these carpal tunnel exercises for pain relief at your home or work.

What are the exercises to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome pain?

Here are listed most important exercises for carpal tunnel pain relief along with the instructions.

Warm-up stretches

It’s always advised to warm up your hands, arms and wrists before you start your exercises session for carpal tunnel.

  • Gently rotate your wrists up, down and side to side for four times.
  • Then, stretch your fingers apart, relax them and then again stretch them apart. Do this four times.
  • Stretch your thumb by pulling it gently towards your body; hold it there for a second and then release it and repeat it four times.

Wrist flexor stretch

This stretching exercise helps to stretch out your wrist and forearm. You should go slowly and to take your time with these exercises. To do this exercise, follow the steps below:

  • Start by extending your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing up.
  • Now bend your wrist so that your fingertips point slightly toward the floor.
  • Next, with the help of your other hand, very gently bend your wrist a little farther until you feel a mild stretch in your wrist and forearm.
  • The moment you feel the stretch, hold it there for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat the exercise 2 to 4 times.

Wrist extensor stretch

Similar to the wrist flexor stretch, here also you will feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. Unlike the wrist flexor stretch, your palm will be facing down in this exercise. You can do this exercise by following these steps.

  • First, extend your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing down.
  • In the next step, bend your wrist so that your hand is pointing toward the floor.
  • Now, with the help of your other hand, bend your wrist farther down until you feel a mild stretch in your wrist and forearm.
  • Hold it there for 15 to 30 seconds when you feel the stretch and repeat it 2 to 4 times.

Prayer stretch

It’s a very gentle and effective exercise for pain relief from carpal tunnel syndrome. It is one of the most useful stretch exercises for carpal tunnel. Follow these easy steps:

  • Bring your palms together and adjust your fingers to point up.
  • Adjust the level of your palm just below your chin.
  • Now, keeping your palms together, start lowering your hands towards your waist slowly and make sure you keep your hands close to your stomach.
  • At this stage, you will feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearms.
  • Hold on that position for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat it 2 to 4 times.

Spiders on mirror

This carpal tunnel exercise is helpful in relieving the pain from an irritated nerve. It’s very easy to do from your desk at work or when you’re at home. You can do it by following these steps.

  • First hold your hands in prayer position such that your fingertips are pointing down.
  • Now spread your fingers apart and then make a steeple shape by separating your palms.
  • Next, bring your thumbs down and back up again and repeat the movements in sequential manner.

Grip strengthening

Anyone can do this grip strengthening exercise and it’s very easy to do with the help of a soft stress relief ball or hand putty. You can do it by squeezing a stress relief ball, hold it for a few seconds while squeezing and release slowly. You can repeat this grip strengthening exercise 5 to 10 times.

The shake


This exercise to relieve carpal tunnel pain is as easy as it sounds. The only thing you have to do is to gently shake your hands as if you’re trying to air dry them.

Repeat the exercise throughout the day as it helps in preventing your wrists, forearms and muscles from tightening or cramping up.