How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Golfer’s Elbow, Wrist Pain and Grip Issues
Tight fascia in your forearms can cause a variety of issues, from grip problems to wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome to golfer’s elbow.
We’re going after TWO areas today: the fascia in both sides of your forearm. We’re targeting the fascia within and between all the flexors AND extensors of the wrist and hand.
This fascia will affect joints upstream AND downstream, potentially causing carpal tunnel or wrist pain as well as elbow pain and even shoulder issues.
Releasing the FLEXOR side can relieve or eliminate:
Grip issues due to overuse and tissue fatigue from things like rock climbing, jiu jitsu etc
Wrist pain (anterior or palm up side)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Finger tendon issues, generally pinky and ring finger (the other fingers are generally more affected by the extensors)
Golfer’s Elbow – and if you have this you want to go after the “meat” on that pinky finger side (lateral forearm in a palm up position) and get as close to the elbow as possible. This is a slightly tricky spot to get on your own because it required angling your arms at angles they don’t really want to go in the position required to do this to yourself (whereas me working on you requires that you only angle the arm we’re working on), but you should be able to at least get some pretty good relief
Releasing the EXTENSORS can relieve or eliminate:
Wrist pain (posterior or palm down side)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Finger tendon issues, mostly middle and forefinger
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis – if this is you, you will get the BEST result by combining this with my favorite technique for upper body pain that gets into the brachialis area just above the elbow (click here for that post)
Grip issues due to overworked extensors, potentially due to repetitive motion actions like like pull-ups (helloooo CrossFitters! xo)
Forearm fatigue or numbness due to overuse if you’re on a computer all day
How to get the most out of these techniques:
Make sure your forearm is lying flat on whatever surface you’re using, making sure your radius and ulna (forearm bones) are parallel and NOT stacked (the radius bone rotates over the ulna and you definitely want to avoid putting weight on these bones if they are stacked!)
Play around with your lunge stance so you find the right position for YOU and your body so that it allows you to really LEAN IN and add weight to your forearms
Find the BEST spots by hunting around first. The more tight/tender the “better” it is. A sure sign you’re on a good spot is if your fingers or wrist move when weight is applied, and the harder it is to open your fingers the better the spot
MOVE SLOWLY – moving your fingers or hand too fast will NOT give you a good result. So be sure you’re moving in a slow deliberate way
Give each spot a good 30-45 seconds of slow movement, using as many types of movement as possible and making use of your full range of motion – wide fingers, rocking movements, side to side movements, fist circles, wiggling your fingers, waving your hand at the wrist, downward rotation, upward rotate or combining and/all of these!
Find 3-5 good spots per forearm
If you have pain you’re trying to eliminate, a general good rule is to try this once a day for a week and see how you feel
IF YOU HIT A NERVE COME OFF IMMEDIATELY: nerve pain feels sharp, shooting and/or electrical. You are more likely to hit a nerve on the extensor side near the elbow.
As with anything, check in with yourself and your body and if it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it. There is “good pain” and “bad pain” and the good kind will feel like tenderness, soreness, tightness, etc.