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Stretching Exercises to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


These are general stretches for the wrists and arms. Stretching may help prevent arm problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Do not do any stretch or movement that is uncomfortable or painful.

Warm-up stretches

  • Rotate your wrist up, down, and from side to side. Repeat 4 times.
  • Stretch your fingers far apart, relax them, then stretch them again. Repeat 4 times.
  • Stretch your thumb by pulling it back gently, holding it, and then releasing it. Repeat 4 times.

Prayer stretch

Picture of the prayer stretch
  1. Start with your palms together in front of your chest just below your chin.
  2. Slowly lower your hands toward your waistline, keeping your hands close to your stomach and your palms together, until you feel a mild to moderate stretch under your forearms.
  3. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Wrist flexor stretch

Picture of the wrist flexor stretch
  1. Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up.
  2. Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
  3. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Wrist extensor stretch

Picture of the wrist extensor stretch
  1. Extend your arm in front of you with your palm down.
  2. Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
  3. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Pichora, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery
Last RevisedOctober 21, 2010

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