There are exercises that your hand surgeon or a hand therapist may prescribe for you to help minimize symptoms before surgery and certainly to help recovery after carpal tunnel surgery. Before surgery, the goal of exercise is to encourage gliding of the nerve and the tendons that accompany the nerve through the carpal tunnel. So simple finger exercises to encourage motion and wrist flexibility may help to minimize adhesions and stiffness that can contribute to your symptoms. People often ask about things like stress balls or gripping devices to help strengthen the wrist and will that help to minimize my carpal tunnel symptoms. In fact, the opposite is probably true. Forceful activities and repetitive gripping or one of the mechanisms that cause carpal tunnel symptoms in many people. So it's important to know that flexibility and motion are important, but overly repetitive forceful activities and really forceful gripping are often not helpful. Exercises after surgery are often prescribed, again, to encourage the return of motion and eventually to strengthen the hand once the carpal tunnel incision has healed. Those can be done at home, or if your doctor feels that some therapy may be helpful, the doctor may refer you to a hand therapist to prescribe treatment and exercise to help recovery after your carpal tunnel surgery.
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