Charcot-Marie-Tooth UK
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I live in Alaska and therapists are not that familiar with CMT. I spend a lot of time on the computer and feeling the symptoms

of tendonitis in my hands. So I am trying to find relief for the pain. The therapist that I went to see today recommend hand exercises with squeezing putty and lifting weights for wrist strength. Does that sound correct to you? I do not want to do anything that will aggravate the situation.

4 Replies

Hi, I am fully aware that in Canada, there are many specialists who are aware of CMT. Hopefully you will get a response from them to your question. Kind regards.


Hello to Akayaker .....

You have not told us if you have been officially diagnosed by a Neurologist, to confirm that you really have Cmt, and if so (what type) ?

It is also certainly true that the majority of health professionals are not aware of Cmt, and it's symptoms ?

However, you could be also suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, or Arthritis of your finger/wrist joints :

Yes, the Cmt disease in it's later stages does cause, muscle wasting / and Neuopathy [disease of the nervous system], loss of muscle strength / loss of your 'fine-finger-dexterity in your hands : The neuropathy (from your damaged sensory, and motor nerves can also cause you pain, such as 'tingling' + loss of sensation, and neuropathic pain, particularly when you are sleeping : If you have Cmt, its symptoms, eg, (high arches/thin ankles/ bad balance / walking/gait abnormalities/ lack of relexes) normally show in your childhood, or teenage years ?

Whilst all parties will agree that exercise is generaly good for everbody, you must also remember that any attempt to inrease your muscle strength is a total waste of time ? Why ? because all Cmt sufferers have a gene mutation defect, which means that their basic element / foundation in their muscles is missing: Therefore no amount of physical excercise will "build-up", or strengthen your wasting muscles :

Best of Luck to you .....

John .... (Glasgow)


Hullo, Akayaker,

I think that with CMT, the thing to remember is that you can't increase the strength of muscles which are already wasted, but you can try to maintain what strength you still have, and hope to slow down the rate of deterioration.

The other thing to remember is that any exercise should be done in moderation ; over-exercising is not good for us.

I too was given finger-putty by my occupational therapist. The exercises involve squeezing a lump of it in my hand (making a fist ), squeezing a smaller lump between thumb and forefinger, and pinching it with thumb, forefinger and middle finger. There are quite a lot of other hand exercises, one of the best being to touch in turn all the fingertips your hand with your thumb. Lifting a bean can above your head in each hand up to 10 times is quite a good one for your arm muscles.

Good luck .

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I suggest you contact CMTA, the largest organisation for people with CMT in the US. Their website is - I'm sure they'll put you in touch with someone who can help.



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