As with other medical conditions, it’s important to treat carpal tunnel as early as possible. In many cases, it’s possible for patients to ease mild symptoms by themselves, either by resting their hands frequently, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or applying cold packs to reduce swelling.
However, if these methods don’t provide any relief, more serious methods may be considered. Your doctor may prescribe one of the following options:
- Compression Sleeve— Wearing a compression wrist sleeve that holds your wrist still. This is especially useful in relieving nighttime tingling and numbness.
- Corticosteroids— Your doctor may inject these into the carpal tunnel to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Endoscopic surgery— Used in the most serious cases. A surgeon will use an endoscope, a small telescopic device, to see inside the carpal tunnel and cut the ligament through the hand and wrist.
- Open surgery—A more serious type of surgery, in which the surgeon makes a large incision in the palm over the carpal tunnel. When the ligament heals, it will grow back with more room for the median nerve than existed before.
Carpal tunnel can be a frustrating condition to experience, if not downright painful. Fortunately, however, there are multiple treatment options available for those experiencing symptoms, including hand stretches which you can perform anywhere.
- Tingling sensation
- Weakness in hands
- Tendency to drop objects
Carpal tunnel usually begins as a feeling of numbness in the thumb, index finger and middle finger. In the beginning, the sensation typically comes and goes, but becomes constant over time. Patients are most likely to experience symptoms when holding a steering wheel, phone, or book. In many cases, the tingling sensation is strong enough to wake patients from sleep. Patients should seek treatment when their regular activities or sleep patterns are being disrupted, as carpal tunnel can cause permanent nerve damage when left untreated.
Carpal tunnel is caused by anything that irritates or compresses the median nerve. In many cases, carpal tunnel isn’t caused by one factor itself, but by a combination of several factors. The following conditions can increase ones’ chances of getting carpal tunnel:
- Wrist fractures or dislocations
- Swelling and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases
- Nerve-damaging conditions, such a chronic diabetes
- Fluid retention, especially during pregnancy and menopause
- Work that requires prolonged, repetitive wrist pressure, such as an assembly line
Carpal tunnel is more common in women than men. This may be because the carpal tunnel passageway is smaller in women. However, it is most likely that other factors influence statistical correlations, such as pregnancy. In the case of pregnancy, carpal tunnel will usually clear up on its own after the pregnancy is over, though of course it is important to consult a doctor about any significant symptoms you may be experiencing.
Carpal Tunnel is numbness, weakness, or other discomfort in the wrist caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve, which controls the thumb and first three fingers, runs from the wrist to the forearm through a small passageway called the carpal tunnel. When too much pressure is placed on the nerve, patients experience numbness, tingling, or loss of small-muscle control in the hand.
Fortunately, proper treatment can usually relieve symptoms in most patients and restore correct wrist and hand function. Read on to discover treatment options, and how wearing a WS6 Wrist Compression sleeve can help.