Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
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Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome should initially be conservative and led by your Doctor. The first period of treatment should include complete rest for the wrist, which is normally immobilized in a splint or wrist brace.
If there is inflammation and swelling present, using a form of cold therapy will help to relieve this. Your Doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation, or diuretics to clear fluid retention.
Carpal Tunnel Brace
A carpal tunnel wrist brace or support is usually recommended as an early part of treatment. They are often neoprene wrist supports with a metal spoon or splint in to provide support and immobilize the wrist. This will help prevent pain and reduce inflammation.
Following a period of immobilisation in a wrist splint or support, stretching and strengthening exercises can be used to help prevent a reoccurrence of symptoms. All exercises should be performed pain-free. If pain occurs, go back
a step. Firstly you should aim for a full, pain-free range of motion, before moving on to strengthening. Resistance bands are excellent for performing wrist strengthening exercises.
Other, more alternative treatments, which may be worth trying include acupuncture and yoga, which have been linked to an improvement in carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
If symptoms do not improve following rest and anti-inflammatories, other options include Corticosteroids or lidocaine injections. If all of this treatment fails and symptoms persist over a 6 month period, surgery may be required.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
A carpal tunnel release is a very common operation, which involves cutting the carpal ligament to make more space for the median nerve. This can either be done as an arthroscopic operation (keyhole), or as an open release, where a 5-6cm incision is made. It is a straightforward procedure which is usually carried out on an outpatient basis. Your hand and wrist will be bandaged and may be placed in a sling for a few days to help it rest and reduce swelling.