Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common but unpleasant condition that causes a numb, tingling feeling in the hand and wrist area. Carpal tunnel is most commonly caused by excess pressure in your wrist and median nerve, leading to swelling and that “pins and needles” feeling that anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel is all too familiar with. If carpal tunnel has been negatively affecting your life, you might think surgery is the only answer. However, there are several ways carpal tunnel can be treated without surgery. Here are a few.
Take an NSAID
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can be taken to relieve pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. An NSAID like Ibuprofen, for example, can help reduce any inflammation you’re experiencing as well as relieve pain. Before taking an NSAID, it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure it won’t interfere with any existing medications you’re taking. After running some carpal tunnel tests, your doctor will determine whether or not you should be taking any medication to treat your condition.
Wear A Splint
Wearing a carpal tunnel splint can help keep your hand and wrist properly aligned. These kinds of splints are sold at most drugstores, but you can also find different kinds online. Wearing a splint can be beneficial if you’re someone who works with your hands a lot, as it will keep the area aligned and help prevent any further stress or strain. It can also help to wear a splint at night, as carpal tunnel can get worse if left unwrapped when you sleep.
Soak Your Hand in Warm Water
Soaking your hand in warm water is a great way to treat carpal tunnel, as it can help soothe the area and relax your muscles. This can be achieved by taking a warm bath and letting yourself soak for at least 10 minutes. You can also use this time to pamper yourself in other ways, like applying a face mask or listening to your favorite podcast. If you don’t want to take a bath, you can also fill up a tub with warm water and soak your hand that way. It is recommended that you do this three to four times per day to fully reap the benefits.
When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Does Require Surgery
If carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms persist, your doctor may suggest surgery to provide long term relief. Carpal tunnel surgery is performed by making an incision on the palm of the hand to cut the transverse carpal ligament. Carpal tunnel surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia, and you’ll most likely be discharged the same day. Carpal tunnel surgery can take up to three months to fully recover from, and your doctor may ask you to avoid heavy use of your hand during that time. However, most doctors will only recommend surgery as a last resort, so be sure to try these at-home treatments first!