Carpal tunnel is a canal or passageway on the palm side of the wrist. Bones, connective tissues and nerves, including the median nerve and nine tendons associated with bending the fingers, pass through this tunnel.
Narrowing of the carpal tunnel compresses or pinches the median nerve, resulting in sharp pain and numbness in the affected hand and arm. This condition is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes
A number of factors contribute to this painful condition. Wrist injury might irritate the median nerve by narrowing the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome might occur in people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation of the wrist compresses the median nerve.
The anatomy of your wrist might make you susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is more common in women with narrow wrists. Fluid retention might exert pressure on the carpal tunnel and irritate the median nerve.
Carpal canal syndrome due to fluid retention usually occurs in women during pregnancy and menopause. Obesity, kidney disorders and thyroid malfunction might alter the fluid balance of the body. Repetitive stress produced while flexing the wrists for a prolonged period, irritates the median nerve, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpel tunnel exercises
Carpal tunnel exercises could prevent and improve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
To strengthen the wrist muscles and release tension from the carpal tunnel, straighten your left wrist and with the second and third fingertips close together, draw a circle in the clockwise direction in the air. After rotating the fingertips for about five to ten times, repeat the process with your right hand.
Extend both the hands horizontally in front. Now move your palm backwards, as if you are trying to stop someone. Keep your wrist and finger in this position for about five to ten seconds. Now slowly straighten your wrist and fingers. Repeat this exercise five to ten times.
Extend your arms horizontally and make a fist. Clench the fists tightly. Stay in this position for about five seconds and then open your fists and relax your fingers. Repeat this exercise five to ten times.
Form a fist with your right hand. With your left palm try to move the clenched fist downwards and resist the force of your left hand palm with your right fist. Stay in this position for about five seconds. Repeat this exercise with your left hand.