If you’re experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling in your wrist, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is a common condition that, according to American Family Physician, affects 3 to 6 percent of the general adult population. Having CTS can be frustrating, but there are a number of different treatments available to help you manage the condition.
Check out our list of 5 treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome:
1. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as “NSAIDs,” are drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen that help to relieve pain in the short term by decreasing inflammation around the nerve in your wrist. While these drugs won’t improve the condition of your CTS, they will help manage the pain it causes.
2. Ice Therapy
One common home remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome is using an ice pack or soaking your wrist and hand in an ice bath for 10-15 minutes an hour. When using an ice pack, limit your session time to no more than 15 minutes and add a layer of protection between the ice and your skin. The cold ice works to restrain blood excess blood flow and swelling in your wrist that can cause you pain.
3. Wrist Splinting
Wrist splints hold your hand and wrist in a natural position, preventing the wrist from moving and causing pain. Some people with moderate cases of CTS use this option as a way to manage pain during flare-ups. Start by wearing the splint at night, and see if that manages your pain. If you still don’t see results, wear the splint all day, but note that constantly wearing a splint can contribute to weakening muscles and stiff joints.
4. Open Surgery
In an open carpal tunnel release surgery, surgeons cut the transverse carpal ligament to release pressure on the nerve in your wrist and alleviate many of the symptoms of CTS. Open surgery is generally only performed in patients with severe symptoms, such as loss of feeling in your wrist, loss of strength in your thumb or loss of coordination in your fingers.
5. Endoscopic Surgery
In endoscopic surgery, surgeons use a small flexible telescope, called an endoscope, to look inside your carpal tunnel after making a small incision in your wrist. The surgeon then cuts the transverse carpal tunnel ligament to release pressure in your wrist.
CTS pain is frustrating and debilitating, but there are highly successful options available. We want to help you with your pain now, so check out our Hand Therapy Program or make an appointment to meet with one of our hand specialists, Dr. Curd or Dr. Jones.