Numbness or the feeling of pain in your wrists can be early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. If symptoms strike at night while sleeping or are concentrated on the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers at any point of the day, then you should seek a medical opinion. The experts can help you determine whether or not you have carpal tunnel syndrome and provide carpal tunnel treatment options that don't involve surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment Without Surgery
Luckily, if you are experiencing carpal tunnel symptoms, even severe ones, treating Carpal Tunnel without surgery is usually still a viable option. However, seeking medical help to get a proper diagnosis is the first step. If carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed early enough there are some non-surgical treatment options that can greatly improve your quality of life.
Wear a Splint or Brace
One of the most common treatments for Carpal Tunnel without surgery is to wear a brace or splint at night. It is difficult to keep your hands and wrists under control while you sleep. Wearing this device will not only help you sleep better but also keep your wrist straight in order to avoid putting pressure on the affected nerve so it can begin to heal. If a person’s occupation involves repetitive actions like working on an assembly line or typing on a computer then a splint may need to be worn during the day to relieve nerve pressure.
Taking over-the-counter pain relief medications can help relieve minor discomfort of carpal tunnel symptoms and reduce any inflammation. The same is true about doing regular ice treatments. A combination of Advil or Aleve and regular ice treatments will help reduce inflammation for mild cases of carpal tunnel.
Change Your Activity
If your job or daily activities involve your hands or wrists being extended or flexed for long periods of time, changing how you do those tasks can help alleviate symptoms. In most cases, individuals that work in an office environment deal with carpal tunnel symptoms. Changing up your workstation and getting office equipment to help your hands and wrists type in a different, more ergonomically correct position may be all the change you need. The professionally trained staff can educate you on what you need to do to change up your daily activity and treat your carpal tunnel symptoms without having surgery.
Specific Exercises or Therapies
Some patients can benefit from daily hand and wrist exercises in order to relieve carpal tunnel symptoms. The staff can give you specific exercises to do at home or work on a regular basis in order to alleviate mild discomfort and allow the main nerve to move more freely in the carpal tunnel area. They will show you how to do these exercises and suggest subsequent follow-up visits to make sure they are still working to relieve any discomfort.
Patients who need a little more help with their carpal tunnel symptoms can get cortisone injections when wearing a splint or other at-home remedies that don't seem to be helping. This anti-inflammatory tool can be injected directly into the carpal tunnel area to give patients relief for months and in some cases years.
Understand All Your Carpal Tunnel Treatment Options
Since most men and women would prefer to forgo surgery, patients dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome may find relief with these options. If carpal tunnel syndrome is caught early enough, it can be treated without surgery. But in other more severe cases, surgery may be the only answer.
What Exactly Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A Carpal tunnel is a tingling or numbness in the hand, wrist, or arm that is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. In severe cases, it can be extremely painful. The carpal tunnel bones in our wrists protect the nerves and tendons that allow our fingers to move and bend. When that tunnel becomes narrow or tissues that surround the nerve become inflamed, it causes pressure. This abnormal pressure causes numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness to occur in the hand. In most cases, it is a condition that only worsens unless treated. Not all pain associated with the hands or wrists is carpal tunnel syndrome, so seeking medical help from a professional is an important first step.
Who Is Impacted by Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by a combination of factors. Research has shown that elderly people and women are more likely to struggle with this condition. Some other likely factors are:
- Repetitive use of the hands: Job occupations where individuals repeat the same hand and wrist motion over a long period of time can cause tendons in the wrist to swell which puts pressure on the nerve.
- Improper hand and wrist position: Job tasks or an activity that involves the wrist and hand being extended or flexed for a long period of time can increase pressure on the nerve causing damage. For example, sitting at your desk and typing all day on a computer without proper hand and wrist placement can lead to carpal tunnel.
- Genetics: This is a very common factor for most individuals. Smaller carpal tunnel space is passed down through family members which can lead to nerve damage due to their anatomy.
- Pregnancy: Changes in hormones with pregnancy can cause inflammation.
- Other health conditions: Arthritis, thyroid imbalances, or diabetes can all be causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has four convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park, Lindenhurst, and Valley Stream – Long Island. Call the Queens office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island offices, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.