What kind of sports can worsen a preexisting carpal tunnel syndrome?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Aaron Gan

"Offering a finer touch in hand and reconstructive microsurgery"

Technically, all sports which involve the use of the hand and wrist can worsen a pre-existing carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, any form of repetitive movement done from the wrist over an extended period can make carpal tunnel syndrome worse. These movements lead to swelling and compression of the median nerve [1].

Listed are a few sports that heavily involve the movement of the wrist and could potentially worsen carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Tennis 
  • Handball
  • Basketball
  • Badminton 
  • Volleyball
  • Archery
  • Boxing

How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from worsening

While your wrist is recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to ensure that the syndrome does not get any worse. Here are a few measures you can take: 

  • Avoiding any activity that involves extended use of your wrist 
  • Taking frequent breaks to rest your wrist 
  • Being mindful of your hand posture
  • Doing physical therapy exercises 
  • Using a wrist splint to keep your wrist from moving


1. Samir Sharrak, Das JM. Hand Nerve Compression Syndromes. Nih.gov. Published September 24, 2019. Accessed December 27, 2019.

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