Carpal tunnel syndrome exercise: Can I lift weights?

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Carpal tunnel syndrome exercise: Can I lift weights?

Question

I was recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Can I still lift weights with this condition?

Spencer
England

Answer

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome result from irritation or compression of the median nerve. The median nerve passes through your carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in your wrist. Depending on how severe your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are, you may be able to participate in weight training exercise.

The key is to keep your wrists rigid and unbending during all your lifts. Allowing your wrists to bend (flex) toward you during a lift puts increased pressure on your carpal tunnel. This may cause compression of your median nerve, which may worsen your symptoms. Also, the increase in blood flow to your muscles that normally occurs during weight training may also put increased pressure on your carpal tunnel.

Let your symptoms be your guide. If weight training activities don't worsen your symptoms, you're probably safe to continue them. If you still have concerns, ask your doctor about whether weight training is appropriate in your specific situation.

Last Updated: 02/15/2007
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