Of course you’ve heard of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)! There are 3 nerves that supply the muscles with power and sensation in your hands: median, radial & ulnar nerves. Any one of these nerves can be irritated if there is inﬂammation, scar tissue or tight muscles in your forearm or around your wrist. The carpal tunnel (space between small wrist bones) contains only the median nerve. If that median nerve is compressed or irritated in the carpal tunnel, there is usually thumb weakness along with numbness, tingling or pain in the thumb, 1st and 2nd ﬁnger. This is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
It’s also important to note that any of the arm/forearm/hand nerves can be irritated or pinched as they exit the neck, cross the shoulder or elbow. There is also a phenomenon called Double Crush Syndrome. In this situation, nerve pressure in one area (for example the neck) makes the nerve more susceptible to a problem in another area (like the carpal tunnel). What does that mean? Subluxations increase the sensitivity of nerves to irritation in other areas like the wrist, elbows, hips, knees and jaw (TMJ).
Here are 2 EASY stretches to help relieve muscle tension, improve joint mobility and decrease joint inﬂammation.
The top stretch pictured stretches the back of the wrist and stretches the muscles that extend the hand and ﬁngers. The bottom image shows stretching of the front of the wrist and muscles that close the hand into a ﬁst. Hold each one for 8-10 seconds and perform 5 repetitions on each hand.
These stretches are especially helpful for those driving a lot, working on computers, tablets/phones or those performing repetitive tasks at work or home.