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Webinar with Dr. Cobb

Carpal Tunnel Relief (Nerve Exercises)

Video Highlights

-- Taking control of carpal tunnel issues on your own
-- Mobilizing Nerves (Neuromechanical or Neurodynamic Exercises)
-- Sliding Movement of the Nerves

Hi. I’m Dr. Eric Cobb of Z Health Performance. Today, we’re continuing our work on carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are new to Z Health, we are an education company focused brain-based approaches. We work with world-class doctors, therapists, and coaches all over the world. In fact, in ninety plus countries. If you’re interested, check out our blogs, subscribe to this channel. We have a bunch of free resources. We have a website. We have real people that’ll talk to you, etcetera. Alright. Carpal tunnel. We’ve done several videos discussing different aspects of how to begin taking control of carpal tunnel issues on your own. So today, I want to finish up discussing one of the most useful tools that we found, which is actually mobilizing nerves So we talk a lot about what we call neuromechanical or neurodynamic exercises. 

These are are movements that are designed specifically to mobilize nerves through their surrounding tissue. because it is possible for a nerve to become entrapped. 

Typically with carpal tunnel, we’re dealing with what’s called the median nerve. 

The median nerve standard exercise requires us to depress the scapula, lock out the elbow, externally rotate the shoulder, pull the wrist and fingers back into extension, and then I tilt my head away and then I’m and typically when people do this, that actually have carpal tunnel.

They’re in excruciating agony because it’s so much tension. So usually for carpal tunnel issues, we don’t begin with tensioning.

We wanna begin with gentle mobilizations of the nerve. So I just wanna show you a couple different versions that are very easy to learn. The way that I like to teach this is you can use a pencil or a ball or something and I’m gonna turn sideways because here’s what I want you to do. If you have issues in your right hand, you’re gonna hold the ball or the pencil in your right hand. And I’m simply going to have you extend it out to the side and you’re going to imagine that you’re dropping it. Alright?

So that means I’m going to be externally rotating my shoulder extending my elbow, extending my wrist, and then letting my fingers extend, and that will put tension on the nerve.

Now, obviously, I want you to be comfortable. In other words, I want this to be pain free in the beginning. So what’s really important is not only do I want you to be careful of the elevation as you go through that movement, but I also want you to watch the pencil fall through the floor. because if I watch it, I am turning my head toward that side and also tilting to that side, which will usually be more comfortable that will usually take tension off the nerve.

So the basic exercise would look something like this. I would start kind of with my arm, you know, like I’m curling my bicep and I’m looking away and then I would drop the ball or the pencil. and then I would look away and I would drop the ball with the pencil. Super super simple. Most people will find that if they start here with the elbow or the excuse me, the arm elevated out to ninety degrees that that actually, just this position itself may create too much discomfort. So you can start down here. just watching this happen, and then you can begin elevating as you go forward.

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Now, this is typically called more of a sliding movement for the nerve It works extremely well. And usually, what I would encourage you to do is do this for two or three weeks several times a day. maybe five repetitions.

You need to be keeping track of this in your irritation journal. That’s very important because you may find that, hey, if I do five sets, or excuse me, three sets of five throughout the day. The next day, my hand’s great.

If I get excited then, I start adding a little bit more tension, and I do more reps, then it gets irritated.

So now you found your threshold. This is all about individualizing and personalizing what you do, which is really what brain based approaches are all about.

Your individual neurology, your individual biomechanics really do matter in your results. So we all have to be cognizant of that and take control of our own health Now as this gets easier for you, let’s say you’re now up to five times a day, you’re able to do ten or fifteen reps your hand’s feeling great.

Now it may be time to add tension to it. So now instead of being here and then looking at that side, I would reverse it. So I would actually be looking at it and now I would be looking away and that’s going to add more tension. It’s gonna direct a little bit more of the exercise into the neck. 

So that would be your graduation exercise until we get into some of the more complex ones that you can see in our other blogs. 

So give this a shot. I hope you find it very helpful. And please, please remember if you’re truly dealing with carpal tunnel right now, make sure that you do this in a graded fashion. Make it comfortable. Make it easy. Make it safe.

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