Tendon Gliding Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tendon Gliding Exercises

Starting position for carpal tunnel syndrome tendon glides. Brett Sears, PT, 2011

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, then you understand how the pain can limit your ability to perform normal, everyday functions like typing or grasping. Phyiscal therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome can help you decrease your pain and improve your overall hand and finger mobility.

One of the most important components of your carpal tunnel physical therapy is exercise. Your PT may prescribe various exercises that can help your regain full, pain-free function of your hand. One such exercise program is called carpal tunnel tendon gliding.

Tendon gliding exercises are often a useful tool to manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. The goal of the exercises are to improve the way your tendons move through the carpal tunnel of your wrist. Tendons that glide and slide smoothly through the carpal tunnel help to keep your wrist and fingers functioning normally.

Try the following tendon gliding exercises to help decrease the pain and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. You can also use the exercises to help prevent future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Be sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist to make sure you should be performing these exercises. Also, consult with your doctor if your symptoms are severe or have been present for more than four weeks.

Start with your hand opened up, like you are telling someone to stop. After each subsequent position, return to this open hand position for 2-3 seconds.

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Fingers Down Position for Carpal Tunnel Tendon Gliding

Bend the fingers until the tips of your fingers touch the base of the fingers. Brett Sears, PT, 2011

Slowly bend your fingers down until each knuckle is bent and the tips of your fingers are touching the pads at the base of your fingers. You should not experience any pain as you do this, although you may feel some tension in your fingers or wrist.

Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and then return to the starting, open-hand position. Move on to the next step.

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The Fist Position for Carpal Tunnel Tendon Gliding

Gently make a fist. Brett Sears, PT, 2011

From the open hand starting position, slowly make a fist and squeeze gently. This should be pain free. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and return to the open hand position.

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The "L" Position for Carpal Tunnel Tendon Gliding

Bend your fingers until your hand makes an "L" shape. Brett Sears, PT, 2011

Next, slowly bend your fingers forward, but be sure to keep the knuckles of your fingers straight. Only the joint where your fingers meet your hand should bend. Your hand should now be in the shape of an "L." Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

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Fingers to Palm Position for Carpal Tunnel Tendon Glides

The tips of your fingers should gently rest on your palm. Brett Sears, PT, 2011

Finally, bend your fingers at the first and middle joints only. The tips of your fingers should rest gently on your palm. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and return to the open-hand starting position.

Repeat this series of tendon glides five times, three times per day to help relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and to help prevent future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome.

By keeping your tendons moving and gliding properly, you can be sure to keep your hand and wrists moving properly.

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