Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Why do my hands feel like ants are crawling on them?

A photo of Dr. Nekita Sullivan, owner of Yoga Therapy Bar
Dr. Nekita Sullivan
January 25, 2024
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Why do my hands feel like ants are crawling on them?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Why do my hands feel like ants are crawling on them?

Have you ever had numbness or tingling in the first 3 fingers of your hand? Have you noticed a weakness of your hand grip? Do you drop objects? Is it difficult for you to write, zip your pants, button your coat, untwist the top off a medicine bottle, or type on the computer? Does hand pain keep you up at night? Do you have to wear a wrist brace while typing? These are some of the common symptoms for those who have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Hand therapy can be beneficial for individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition characterized by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Hand therapy aims to reduce symptoms, improve function, and prevent further damage. Here are some hand therapy exercises and strategies that may help alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

·        Wrist Stretches: Gently stretch the wrist flexors and extensors to improve flexibility and reduce tension in the wrist. Hold each stretch for about 15-30 seconds and repeat several times.

·        Nerve Gliding Exercises: These exercises involve gently moving the nerve within its pathway to improve its ability to glide through the carpal tunnel. An example exercise is the nerve gliding technique, where you gently move your hand and fingers in specific ways to promote nerve mobility.

·        Strengthening exercises: Strengthen the muscles around the wrist and forearm to provide better support. Examples include wrist curls, wrist flexor and extensor exercises using light resistance.

·        Tendon gliding exercises: These exercises help improve the gliding ability of the tendons within the carpal tunnel.

·        Nerve tension reduction: Nerve flossing reduces tension on the median nerve and needs to be started under the supervision of a therapist.

·        Ergonomic Modifications: Ergonomic modifications to reduce strain on the wrist during daily activities such as workspace setups, keyboard and mouse positioning, and other ergonomic considerations.

·        Activity Modifications: Avoid activities that exacerbate symptoms, especially repetitive and forceful hand movements to reduce strain on the wrists.

·        Cold and Heat Therapy: Cold packs can help reduce inflammation. Heat packs can promote blood circulation and relaxation. Alternate between cold and heat therapy as directed.

·        Bracing and Splinting: Wearing a wrist splint, especially at night, can help keep the wrist in a neutral position and reduce pressure on the median nerve.

Always consult with a healthcare professional or a certified hand therapist before starting any hand therapy program. They can assess your condition and provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and limitations. Additionally, if symptoms persist or worsen, it's important to seek medical advice for further evaluation and management.

Dr. Nekita Sullivan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and certified hand therapist. She has 20 plus years of experience. Yoga Therapy Bar is proud to offer hand therapy services in downtown Clemson, virtually, and off-site to residents of Clemson, Central, Liberty, Easley, Pendleton, Anderson, Seneca, and the Upstate. Physical Therapy services are 1 hour in duration one-on-one. Pricing options include a flat fee for one treatment or a package fee for multiple treatments. No referral is needed. There are no insurance limitations. Appointments are often available the same week. Handicapped parking is just outside of the front door. Email Dr. Nekita Sullivan at for details. You can also check us out on the web at and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In.  #physicaltherapyClemson #handtherapyClemson#clemsonphysicaltherapy #clemsonyoga #yogaclemsonsc #Pilatesclemson#yogaphysicaltherapy #physicaltherapyyoga #physicaltherapyclemsonsc#bodyandmind #holistic #carpaltunnelsyndrome