T Nation

Preventing/Fixing Carpal Tunnel

Does anybody know of any good exercises for either preventing or treating carpal tunnel syndrome?
I know of the one TC has mentioned, involving thick rubber bands tied around the fingers which are then pushed outward.
I believe that lifting with the wrist and forearm in a straight line rather than at 90 degrees also helps.

What else can be done?

Sonny, I learned this past week that ART is effective at correcting CTS.

Accupuncture is also effective. It’s only a 3-point protocol, maybe a half dozen visits, depending on severity.

Either option is better than surgery!

Good luck to you!!!

Thanks 2T.

i’m actually concerned about protecting and preventing rather than treating, thank goodness.

Any exercises to suggest?

Hey Sonny,
Stretching is key for preventing carpal tunnel however in order to treat carpal tunnel you need to break down the scar tissue that formed with repetitive microtrauma such as computer usage or poor lifting techniques. Also, numbness in the hand does not mean you have carpal tunnel but it can actually be tightness in the flexor compartment (pronator teres). A simple question at first is to ask yourself if you have pain during the day with activity or at night when sleeping? Which fingers do you have the pain in? Either problem needs to be addressed. Scar tissue forms adhesions that entrap nerves and cause that numbness and tingling along it’s pathway. Before considering surgery find an ART provider for treatment.
Good Luck

Thanks Dr., I actually don’t have CTS but spent hrs in bed early Sun morning unable to fall back asleep after waking up with throbbing pain in my left forearm. it was scary, let me tell you.

I’m looking for a few exercises to do to strengthen those areas affected.

I’m pretty sure what caused it: 20+ reps of floor chinups, followed by around 30 light power snatches and cleans on THur afternoon.

I started stretching before during and after sets, a/w/a on the following days. BUt that DOMS got me pretty good.

So I will avoid:
-doing high reps in certain exercises
-doing Oly lifts before receiving 1 on 1 coaching, which a few board members have helped me tremendously with in terms of finding a coach

I will add that I have never experienced that level of pain before in my forearms/wrists- not even close.

I have a pain in the base of one thumb near the wrist, with certain movements. I wonder if the rubber band techniques would help this?

Make sure that your spine is healthy and in good alignment. Read Ian King’s “Out of Kilter” articles for a good overview of injury prevention.

Your description of waking up with pain suggests that you’re contracting muscles during sleep. Almost always mental anxiety and stress contribute to this. Relaxation techniques are helpful, cognitive therapy (you don’t have to go to a therapist - this is not “magic”) can help. If you’re chronically contracting your forearm, wearing a brace during sleep can be very helpful too. This helped me in my bout with cubital tunnel syndrome (similar to carpal but in the elbow). I wrote a lot of advice about this in MizzouDog’s “ulnar entrapment” thread.

Matt Furey sells a video with exercises he claims cures carpel tunnel syndrome. If you check it out let us know how it worked. I think it’s about 100 bucks though, kinda pricy I think.

I went to an ART practitioner / chiropractor and it turns out my “carpal tunnel” syndrome actually originated in my neck! I guess there are about 20 different places between the vertebrae in the neck and the wrist where a nerve can be impinged and cause the exact same symptoms. You need to have that entire chain in proper condition if you want to avoid CT. If you want to cure it, you have to figure out where the problem is originating.

Thanks for all the responses, i appreciate them. But I need to restate that this was a 1 time occurrence, and it was certainly caused by the workout 2 days prior.
I DO NOT have CTS - I am trying to find out what exercises i can do to help prevent it.

Just like we do rotator cuff strengthening to prevent anything from happening to the shoulder.

Preventive exercises is what I’m after.

I guess I’ll have to Google and post my results on the board.
BUt it is good to know that chiro or ART can help if it ever happens.

I just need to find a great chiropractor is all…sigh. My 1st chiro was amazing, he had the magic touch and I felt like I was a new person when I left his office. Every one since has been an incompetent or ineffective tool.

BigArrow, I’ve seen it advertised but I’m sure I can find everything I need for free.

I like Furey, he’s an excellent teacher, I’ve been to a seminar of his.

BUt I can’t stand his marketing and his prices could stand to be trimmed.

But, in his defense, everything he sells is what he claims it to be, it is the real deal. He has integrity.

But I’m happy to say a buddy of mine who has 25-30 of his grappling tapes is making me a 6 hr tape and bringing it over tomorrow and I’ll be able to learn a lot of his stuff for free…hee hee hee!

“If it’s fo’ free, it’s fo’ me”

His marketing turns me off also. It seems it’d take hundreds of dollars to get all his stuff, hell if he wrote a book with all the info I’d be interested for about 30 bucks. But not an e-book , e-books suck I want the real thing.

Sonny S.

I seem to have questions for you all over this board–does the tape your friend is making you have any of Furey’s stretching info–if so, I would be interested in hearing a review. Also, Does anyone know if he is planning to put his stuff on DVD any time soon?

When CTS is suspected, there are a ton of potential differential diagnoses, none of which can really be made over the internet. I think an ART provider or orthopedic wrist and hand specialist would be a great place to start; they can run you through the various tests.

floobadoo, I actually asked for the grappling stuff first so I don’t know when I’ll see the stretching tapes he has. Look on google, I’m sure you’ll find a review somewhere. Of course it will prob say “All the info can be found for free somewhere else, blah blah blah”

neck cranks tape is sweet

I had horrible carpal; tunnel from practicing my guitar 8 hours a day in college. It was cured quite quickly using ART which has a 90% plus success rate with treating CTS, while surgery has less then 20% because of the fact that the problem can originate anywhere up the arm, not only just the wrist. ART is amazing

Not specifically CTS, but I’ve had problems with pain in my wrists and hands from using a computer too often, and I came up with a program that seemed to work pretty well. I don’t have my notes with me, so I’ll post it when I get home.

I don’t think that overuse of a computer or anything else is sufficient to cause something like CTS. I believe it’s always overuse plus poor postural mechanics plus excessive tension. It’s like a car that’s out of alignment. If you never drive it, or you drive very little and very slowly, the bad alignment won’t cause any problems. It’s when you drive it a lot that you see the signs of excessive and uneven wear. Yes, driving does contribute to the wear, but the damage is excessive and uneven because of the bad alignment.

Sonny, to reiterate, if you want to prevent CTS, make sure that your whole musculo-skeletal system is healthy and aligned properly. Ian King’s and Mike Robertson’s articles are a good start for self-diagnosis, and ART practitioners should be helpful for this, too. If you have excessive kyphosis, for example, plus do a lot of computer work or other hand/wrist intensive movements, you are at risk for CTS.

I suffered severely from cubital tunnel syndrome several years ago. Now I’m completely recovered (from that condition) and use a computer more than ever with no problems whatsoever.

Thanks for the responses and yes I would like to see that program Ultrafilter!