Physical therapy is suggested by many doctors after the carpal tunnel surgery for a faster recovery. To know which are the exercises that help retain the movement of the wrists after the surgery, read this HealthHearty article.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is observed, when the nerve that runs through the forehand and wrist, is pressed. This nerve is called the median nerve, and it controls the sensation in fingers and thumb. Carpal tunnel is a narrow passage that allows the thumb and fingers to move. Many a time, the tendons near the carpal tunnel narrow down this passage. Or, even swelling in that region can cause strain on the median nerve.
As a result, the hands become numb, and you experience pain and weakness in the hands. Usually, the condition is treated with medicines and a splint. However, a splint can help you only in mild or moderate condition. If the symptoms persist for more than 6 months, surgery is recommended by many doctors. After the surgery, doctors recommend exercises that will help you increase the strength in your hands. Let us take a look at the carpal tunnel exercises to be performed after surgery.
Initially, after removing the stitches, the pain and swelling in hands can be reduced using various techniques. These techniques are massage, hot and cold packs, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Massage is often effective to reduce the swelling on the hand and the wrist. The carpal tunnel exercises are useful to reduce the sensitiveness of the incision.
The tapping exercise will help to reduce the tenderness in the area of incision, and is often called percussion. For doing percussion, tap lightly on that part of your hand that has become sensitive or tender. It is done with the fingertips of your other hand. While you are tapping, find the area on the hand that is most tender. After finding out the point on the hand that is tender, note down the time, and tap that area rapidly, which can be 2-3 times per second.
This tapping must be done lightly and continuously on the tender area. The exercise should be done for at least 3 minutes. You can even continue to tap, until you feel the change in the sensation in that particular area. Take a break after this session (for about 1-2 minutes). Again, start tapping your hand, this time you will find that some different area is tender instead of the previous one. This exercise must be repeated for many times during a day. It will help you reduce the tenderness in the sore area of the hand, and offer comfort to your hand.
It is done to reduce the scars on the hand, and helps improve the contour of the skin. This exercise must be done along with tapping exercise. Place your fingertip on the scar, and press against it. Then, without sliding your finger, push the skin in a particular direction. You must decide four directions, from the center of the scar, viz., near, far, left, and right. When you push the skin in a particular direction, hold it for a few seconds. After this, relax for some time and then go for a new direction. It is recommended that this exercise must be done before applying any cream, ointment, or antibiotic lotion on the scar.
These exercises are performed to stabilize the muscles and joints. These exercises are designed to allow certain hand movements that are essential for the daily tasks and sports activities. These exercises are suggested to the patient by their physical therapist. The intensity of these exercises is increased after regular time intervals.
It is strongly recommended that these exercises must be done under the supervision of your physical therapist. This will help to avoid any injuries during the exercise session.