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Exercises

BMJ Group Medical Reference

There are exercises you can try to relieve the trapped nerve in your wrist. You stretch your fingers and wrist in different positions, to see if doing this can release the pressure on your nerve. The exercises are known as nerve and tendon gliding exercises. But the research we've looked at suggests these exercises probably don't help with carpal tunnel syndrome.

One study (a randomised controlled trial) looked at people who did these exercises five times a day for four weeks. [37] They also wore a wrist splint during the day and night. The people who exercised their fingers and wrist could pinch harder after eight weeks. But their other symptoms were just as severe as those of people who hadn't done any exercises.

Another small study found little difference between people who did exercises and people who didn't. [55] A third study found that exercises had no effect on symptoms, or on how well people with carpal tunnel syndrome could move their wrists. [56]

We don't know if nerve and tendon gliding exercises could harm you, because the research doesn't tell us. But there may be a risk that some exercises could make your condition worse. It's important to discuss exercises with a physiotherapist or another health professional. [54]

Glossary

physiotherapist

A physiotherapist is a health professional who is trained to use physical activity and exercises to help people's bodies heal.

randomised controlled trials

Randomised controlled trials are medical studies designed to test whether a treatment works. Patients are split into groups. One group is given the treatment being tested (for example, an antidepressant drug) while another group (called the comparison or control group) is given an alternative treatment. This could be a different type of drug or a dummy treatment (a placebo). Researchers then compare the effects of the different treatments.

For more terms related to Carpal tunnel syndrome

Citations

For references related to Carpal tunnel syndrome click here.
Last Updated: January 18, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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