Thumb and Finger Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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

thumb and finger exercises

 

What are various thumb and finger exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Your fingers and thumb get severely affected due to the pain in carpal tunnel syndrome. You should try to keep your affected fingers in a stable position to help reduce the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome or another repetitive strain injury.

There are various easy to do at home hand and finger exercises you can do to help in checking of the symptoms and improve your condition. Try doing the following four exercises, if you are able to, and always remember to consult with your doctor first who will be able to offer an accurate diagnosis along with various other medical treatments, if necessary.

  • Touch each fingertip to the thumb of the same hand and then repeat for a total of five times on each hand.
  • Stretch your fingers by spreading all ten fingers as far apart as possible and hold in that position for a count of ten.
  • With both hands folded together and the fingers interlaced, turn the palms away from the body and gently extend your arms forward as far as possible while holding for ten seconds. This helps in stretching of your palms.
  • Quickly tap your thigh with the front and then the back of your hand, alternating each side for a total of 20 times.

Besides the hand and finger exercises, and keeping your affected fingers in stable position, you should also take frequent breaks when working on a desk or a computer. Applying ice packs may also help reduce the inflammation caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

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What are stretch exercises for wrist and fingers?

Stretching exercise for fingers should be performed to help reduce the pain and stiffness of fingers. Try doing the following two exercises to stretch your fingers and wrist.

  • Get an elastic band from a store. Now, place the elastic band around the tips of your fingers in such a manner that it appears to be a rosebud and then go from the rosebud pose to a claw pose by opening your fingers to make a claw. Do 10 to 15 repetitions in three different segments.
  • Stretch all the fingers of the affected hand with the help of your other hand in its back position simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds. Release and repeat 10 repetitions. Then, stretch each finger individually in the same direction, hold for 5-10 seconds and then release and repeat it for 10 repetitions. It is good to wiggle other fingers while stretching one finger.

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Thumb exercises to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome

Pain due to carpal tunnel can cause a loss of gripping ability of your thumb. To ease this pain, to improve range of motion of the thumb and to increase your thumb’s flexibility and strength, you should try these thumb exercises.

Rubber band exercise


This exercise is ideal for thumb pain from constant repetitive use as happens in case of carpal tunnel syndrome. It helps in strengthening the base joint of the thumb. You can do this exercise by wrapping an elastic band around your thumb and the index finger. Then, pull them in opposite directions and return to the original position. Repeat this for20 times.

You can also try wrapping a rubber band around both the thumbs. Lay your palms on a sturdy surface and pull your thumbs in the opposite directions. Return to the original position. Repeat it for 20 times. You should stop this exercise as soon as pain arises in your thumb as it can lead to strain injury in your thumbs.

Thumb wrist stretch

Make a fist with your affected hand and place the thumb of that hand inside it. Raise your wrist until a pull at the back of your forearm is felt. In the next step, rotate your first away from the body until the palm side of your hand is facing outward away from the body and your thumb side is pointing downward to the floor by using your other arm to assist in the stretch.

It is important that the hand of the other arm should be wrapped around the hand you’re using to stretch the thumb.

Thumb palm exercise:

This is a simple exercise and it promotes the range of motion for the thumb, resolves the stiffness of thumb and keeps your thumb flexible. To perform this exercise, hold out your hand on its side, with the thumb and index finger on top while your elbows are bent.

Let your thumb move away from your palm until you feel a stretch or pull. Take special care to keep your thumb at the level of your index finger. Next, return the thumb to the palm and repeat as recommended by your doctor.