Irving Primary Care

4 Ways to Relieve Carpal Tunnel

From self-care at home to surgery, you have a lot of options when it comes to relieving and treating carpal tunnel. Do keep in mind that there is no one size fits all rule that works for all cases. Every individual case may be different.

Treatment methods that worked for your friends may not work for you, which means you’ll have to try various approaches to get the relief you need.

Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to get progressively worse over time. The key is to treat it early on so you can slow its progress or even cure it. Early intervention also results in shorter recovery times. Typically, you should explore basic self-care remedies such as wrist braces before going for surgery.

Here are 4 ways you can relieve carpal tunnel syndrome.

1. Self-Care

One easy home treatment is to plunge your wrists into a bucket filled with ice water for up to 10 minutes, once an hour or so. You can also shake your wrist or hang it over your bedside to relieve pain if it disrupts your sleep patterns. Some people also recommend slipping the wrist into warm water at about 37 °C.

You can follow this up by gently holding out your arm in front of you, fully flexing the wrist and hand, and the palm of your hand facing down. Hold this stance for about 15 seconds.

Another tried and tested exercise is to give relief to your hands by giving them a break from whatever it is that causes carpal tunnel symptoms to flare up.

It is worth noting that the above methods will only treat carpal tunnel syndrome, and not cure it. 

2. Wrist Braces

Braces are best used in mild cases of CTS. They may not be ideal for everyone, but you won’t experience any side effects from using braces. Symptoms will typically take around 3 to 4 weeks to improve. Most doctors recommend wearing braces when you go to bed. This is because most people unintentionally bend their wrist when they sleep, making their symptoms worse.

You can also try wearing braces at work, especially when you’re about to do things that could trigger symptoms.

3. Steroids

Injecting strong drugs such as cortisone can reduce swelling. You can also take steroids in pill form. In some cases, your doctor may inject a shot of cortisone directly in your wrist to treat carpal tunnel. This is a short term solution that provides momentary relief from symptoms but is not a permanent fix.  

4. Surgery

If the above-mentioned treatments don’t relieve symptoms in 4-6 months, your doctor may suggest surgery to treat carpal tunnel.

There are two types of surgeries, 1) in open surgery, a 2-inch incision is made from the wrist to your palm, 2) in endoscopic surgery, your surgeon uses a small camera to make cuts. In both cases, the surgeon will cut a ligament over the carpal tunnel to reduce the pressure from the median nerve. This ligament will recover after surgery and will no longer obstruct the nerve’s path.

Do you or your loved one have carpal tunnel syndrome? To book an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine visit or call (469)262-5762 for more information.