The Ultimate Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and arms. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand, becomes compressed.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most common symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a sensation of tingling, numbness, or weakness in the fingers, hand, or wrist. This often occurs in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, but can also spread to the forearm and even the shoulder.
In addition to the tingling or numbness, other symptoms may include a feeling of pins and needles, burning sensations, or even shooting pain in the affected areas. The pain may become worse at night or when using the wrist for repetitive activities like typing or grasping objects.
Over time, the symptoms may become more frequent and severe, making it increasingly difficult to perform everyday activities such as gripping a pen, holding a cup, or using a keyboard.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are several non-surgical treatment options that can help alleviate symptoms and improve function. Here are some of the most effective treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome:
1. Rest and activity modification
Resting the affected hand and avoiding repetitive motions can help reduce pressure on the median nerve. If your job or hobbies involve repetitive movements, talk to your doctor about modifying your activities or taking breaks more frequently.
Wearing a splint at night can help keep your wrist in a neutral position, relieving pressure on the median nerve and reducing symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend wearing a splint during the day, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
3. Physical therapy
A physical therapist can help you perform exercises that can improve the strength and flexibility of your hand and wrist, reducing symptoms and preventing future injury.
Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation in the wrist. Your doctor may also recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from symptoms.
Surgical Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If non-surgical treatment options don't work for your carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is called carpal tunnel release surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision in the palm of your hand and cut the ligament that's pressing on the median nerve.
The goal of the surgery is to relieve the pressure on the median nerve and alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. The procedure can be done either as an open surgery or as an endoscopic surgery. In open surgery, the surgeon will make a larger incision in your palm.
The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. Recovery time can vary depending on the type of surgery and your individual case.