Can Exercises help after Carpal Tunnel Release surgery ?
After carpal tunnel release surgery, you’ll need to start using your hand as soon as possible to reduce swelling and stiffness.
There are lots of exercises and other ways to help people recover after hand surgery, but it is not know whether they work or not. Squeezing foam balls to increase your strength and mobility may slow down your recovery if you do it too much. So make sure you take things slowly and don’t do too much.
There are some simple hand and wrist exercises you can do after your surgery.
1. Make a fist by starting with your fingers straight and then moving them down to your palm – do this 10 times.
2. Bend your wrist up and down 10 times.
3. Touch the tip of each finger to your thumb in turn.
4. Press the palms of your hands together with your fingers pointing upwards. Gently lift your elbows to the side, keeping your fingers together, until you feel stretch at the front of your wrists.
5. Rest your arm flat on a table with your wrist hanging over the edge. Bend and straighten your wrist up and down 10 times, then side to side, and then rotate your wrist in circles.
Perhaps try using your normal day-to-day activities to build up the strength and mobility in your hand. If your pain or swelling gets worse after using your hand, it’s likely that you’ve been doing too much and need to slow down. You may also find that your shoulder and neck feel a little stiff after a period of relative inactivity after surgery.
Remember that it can take up to three months for you to recover completely from the surgery.
Will I need physiotherapy after carpal tunnel release surgery?
Not everyone needs to see a physiotherapist after carpal tunnel release surgery.
There are some general things that you can do at home to help you recover more quickly.
1. Use your hand for light day-to-day activities such as eating and dressing as soon as you can after surgery.
2. Keep your hand up when you’re not using it.
3. Don’t walk around with your hand dangling down or sit with it in your lap
You may need to see a physiotherapist if you still have scar pain or stiffness three months after your surgery.
You may be recommended to try strengthening hand exercises, hot or cold compresses or a wrist splint. But these don’t work well for everyone.
Massaging your scar and the area around it with a moisturising cream can also help your scar to feel less tender.