Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will be based on the underlying cause, the symptoms you experience and the severity of your condition. Many people will initially attempt to self-treat this condition by purchasing and wearing a carpal tunnel brace. This can be an effective treatment if used consistently, in addition to stretching the muscles and resting the wrists whenever possible.
During the early stages, physicians will recommend immobilization of the wrist using a carpal tunnel brace and resting and icing the affected area.
Carpal Tunnel Brace: Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
People whose jobs aggravate the condition may need to modify their activities. Certain preventative measures, such as adjusting the height of your chair, using wrist pads with your keyboard, stretching and exercising the wrists and periodically resting, all can prevent some of the symptoms that are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. The underlying diseases or conditions that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome are treated individually. People who are significantly overweight may need to lose weight in order to prevent symptoms, while people who experience carpal tunnel due to repetitive overuse may require surgery over time. Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and the use of a carpal tunnel brace. Women who are pregnant can also experience carpal tunnel, which usually resolves itself after the delivery of the infant.
There are a number of medications available that are designed to treat this condition. Anti-inflammatories can be used to reduce swelling and minimize pain, however, excessive use can cause ulcers or stomach upset. Corticosteroids can be administered orally or by injection and they can help to minimize the pain associated with carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel is very manageable and can improve over time with the right treatment. In cases that are severe and involve constant pressure on the median nerve, surgery may be necessary in order to prevent permanent damage. This surgical procedure will involve severing tissue around the wrist in order to reduce the pressure on nerves.
When a person is first diagnosed with carpal tunnel, if their condition is due to wrist overuse, they’ll need to think about what they can do to avoid the repetitive motions that can aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms. If you use a computer every day, wearing a carpal tunnel brace on each wrist may be beneficial because they help to keep the wrists straight, but still allow the hands to function normally. A carpal tunnel brace can also help to minimize pain, especially during the night.
How a Brace can Relieve Carpal Tunnel Pain
By wearing a brace the wrist will be kept at a neutral angle, which helps to minimize the repetitive rotation and flexion movements that can result in inflammation and nerve pain. The carpal tunnel brace is the most effective when used during the first few months of pain. Wearing braces during sleep is recommended for the first month once symptoms appear. Some people will choose to wear braces during the day and night, especially if their job involves a lot of time on the computer. However, many people find them uncomfortable and it can be difficult to get used to this type of mobility limitation. If you are under the care of a healthcare professional, they may order custom fit carpal tunnel braces. The braces are made out of durable material and fasten with Velcro. If you need a brace that offers more mobility for the wrist, you’ll need to discuss this with your physician.
Over the counter models are available in set sizes, so you’ll need to try them on before buying, in order to ensure a good fit. If you need to wear braces during work, you can choose a soft brace, because it allows for more wrist mobility. During sleep the rigid wrist brace is the best choice because it can align the wrists in a neutral position. This can prevent inflammation and irritation on the nerves. The best type of braces will fit well, but should not be adjusted too tightly or it will increase swelling and inflammation.
You can also add vitamin supplements to your home carpal tunnel treatment. This can include a daily calcium supplement with vitamin D for bone health, and vitamin B6 for the prevention of nerve compression. The recommended dosage for vitamin B6 is a hundred mgs, two to three times daily.
Who is at Risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is most commonly found in middle-aged women and is diagnosed after a physician performs a physical exam. The diagnosis is also based on the complaints of the patient. The risk factors associated with carpal tunnel development include alcoholism, wrist fracture, endocrine disorders, arthritis and pregnancy.
Hand weakness, inability or difficulty to make a fist, needle-like pain in the fingers, numbness in the fingers, burning or tingling in the fingers, trouble gripping or manipulating small objects and pain or numbness that is worse at night, are all common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.