3 Carpal Tunnel stretches for sewists, quilters, and knitters.

Do your fingers ever go numb ? That feeling that is often referred to as "pins and needles". Or are you finding that your grip isn't as strong as it once was ? Many of us have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome or know someone who has it, but don't assume you have it just because you've dropped your favourite mug on the kitchen floor. You may just be experiencing the effects of disrupted circulation between your forearm, wrist and hand. Whenever blood flow is "cut off" or temporarily interrupted, your body will let you know.

Carpal tunnel syndrome also known as CTS is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This can happen when your wrist is bent up over your iron, or bent down when rotary cutting or when your forearm is leaning against your sewing machine. Poor sewing ergonomics can contribute to compression on your median nerve. It runs through the carpal tunnel - a narrow passageway on the palm side of your hand at the wrist and is surrounded by ligaments and bones.

Whether you have medically diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome or just an occasional sore wrist or tingling fingers, read on for useful strategies to help.


Symptoms

  • Tingling or numbness. You may notice tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand. Usually the thumb and index, middle or ring fingers are affected, but not your little finger. You might feel a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers. The sensation may travel from your wrist up your arm. These symptoms often occur while holding a steering wheel, phone or rotary cutter, or may wake you.

  • Weakness. You may experience weakness in your hand, especially your grip and drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb's pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.

Warm Up

1. Rotate your wrist up, down, and from side to side.

2. Stretch your fingers far apart. Relax them, and repeat.

3. Stretch your thumb by pulling it back gently, holding, and releasing it.

4. Try simply "shaking out" your hands for an easy warm up.




The Three Best Stretches for your Carpal Tunnel.


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 body and palms together until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearms.

3. Hold for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.


Wrist Extensor Stretch

1. Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up, pointing your hand toward the sky like a a stop sign.

2. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.

3. Hold for at least 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Switch hands and repeat.






Wrist Flexor Stretch

1.Place one arm straight out in front of you, elbow straight, with your wrist extended and fingers facing the floor.

2. Spread your fingers and use your other hand to gently apply pressure to the downward-facing hand.

3. Hold for at least 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Switch hands and repeat.





Here's a great way to stretch both

forearms at the same time!