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

  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.
Picture of the prayer stretch

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 further 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

Repeat steps 1 through 4 of the stretch above, but begin with your extended hand palm down.

Picture of the wrist flexor stretch
Picture of the wrist extensor stretch

Last Updated: October 29, 2008

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics & David Pichora, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery

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