Ways To Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Without Surgery
If youve ever experienced pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands youre not alone. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common cause of loss of function and pain in peripheral nerves due to chronic compression, otherwise known as entrapment neuropathy. Luckily, there are several ways to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome so you can get back to living your life on your terms.
Treatment Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as soon as possible in order to prevent worsening of symptoms. When diagnosed early, carpal tunnel syndrome can often be treated non-surgically. In fact, most doctors will begin with a non-operative approach and will only proceed to surgery if symptoms persist.
Of course, its important to treat underlying causes, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, first.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel treatment options can ease pain, numbness, and symptoms and help prevent permanent nerve damage.
Your treatment may be fairly simple if you caught carpal tunnel syndrome early. The first steps of treatment are:
Changing your habits. You may need to change specific aspects of your work or other activities that make your condition worse.
Taking medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help. Examples are ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs ease the pain and inflammation that cause symptoms. Putting ice on your wrists also helps with inflammation.
Wearing a brace. It helps to keep your wrist in a straight position. Wearing a brace at night or during the day, or both, relieves pressure in your wrist. This can help ease your .
Exercising. Your doctor can suggest exercises to stretch the muscles and ease pressure on the nerve in your wrist. Your doctor also may suggest that you work with a .
Getting injections. Your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into the carpal tunnel. These drugs reduce inflammation and can ease your symptoms. However, the shots often work for only a short time. Your symptoms may come back.
Severe carpal tunnel syndrome may not improve with these steps. Some people need surgery.
Most people recover well from carpal tunnel syndrome surgery. It takes a few weeks to get back to normal activities. But, it’s very rare for symptoms to come back after surgery.
Read Also: How Long Does Wrist Pain Last
Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel causes numbness and pain in the hand, wrist and forearm area. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms below, please contact a hand surgeon at Hoag Orthopedic Institute and schedule an appointment.
- Numbness and tingling in the hand
- Pain radiating in the hand, wrist and up the arm
- Symptoms worsen with increased activity
- Weakness in your hands, difficulty holding things
- Cold intolerance, dryness, and unusual textures in the fingers signify disruption of the sympathetic fibers carried by the median nerve
- Pain worsens during sleep
Why does carpal tunnel pain worsen during sleep?
- During sleep we often flex our wrist, which increases pressure on the median nerve
- Blood Pressure decreases during sleep, causing poorer nerve perfusion
- Due to the inactivity during sleep, we are no longer pumping fluid out of the wrist
What A Doctor Can Do For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of your symptoms. Mild symptoms usually respond to conservative treatment, which involves resting the area, icing the area several times a day, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and wearing a wrist splint to ease compression of the nerve in the carpal tunnel.
Your doctor will ask you about what you do in your profession and your hobbies. Poor ergonomics at work is a big contributor to carpal tunnel syndrome, and your physician may recommend making changes to your chair, desk, keyboard, and mouse. The physician may also recommend that you see a specialized hand therapist to show you how to avoid putting compression on your wrist and to teach you exercises to give your hands a break and to facilitate proper blood flow in the area.
Also Check: Can Sciatica Cause Stomach Pain
Types Of Painful Feelings
As describe above, theplacewhere carpal tunnel pain hurts the most is easy to define. But describing the actualtypeof pain patients feel is more difficult.
The types of pain reported have a wide range. They can be anywhere fromannoying or bothersometocrushing or punishing. The specificqualitiesof pain sensations usually described are:
Note that you can have only one or all of these pain sensations at the same time. Usually having more than one type of pain sensation is relative to the stage of carpal tunnel syndrome.More advanced stages produce additional types of pain sensations.
Dont Miss: What Can Cause Neck Pain And Swelling
How Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented
At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, and use correct posture and wrist position. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the workers wrist to maintain a natural position during work. Jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can develop programs in ergonomics, the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers. However, research has not conclusively shown that these workplace changes prevent the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Read Also: How Long Does Sciatica Pain Last
What Other Conditions Can Cause Similar Symptoms
Several of them. One, which doctors call de Quervain tenosynovitis, causes problems with the tendons that control your thumb. It hurts to turn your wrist, make a fist, or try to grasp an object. Your doctor can do some simple tests to tell whether you have this condition or carpal tunnel.
Other health problems that may seem like carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Physical Therapy Not Surgery Should Be The First Option For Almost Every Patient
Back surgery is the only kind of musculoskeletal surgery that is more common than carpal tunnel surgery.
The above sentence sounds wrong, but it isnt. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration reported that about 8 million Americans suffer each year from carpal tunnel syndrome and about 230,000 of them had carpal tunnel surgery annually from 2007 through 2014.
It turns out, though, that almost all patients with this condition should have chosen physical therapy rather than surgery, the lead author of a study by King Juan Carlos University in Spain involving 50 carpal tunnel syndrome patients who had physical therapy and 50 who had surgery told WebMD in an article entitledPhysical Therapy Equals Surgery for Carpal Tunnel.
Researchers found that physical therapy particularly so-called manual therapy improved hand and wrist function and reduced pain as effectively as a standard operation for the condition, the article reported. Moreover, after one month, physical therapy patients reported better results than those who underwent surgery.
The world-renowned Cleveland Clinicdescribes carpal tunnel syndrome as a medical condition that occurs when the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand via a narrow space called the carpal tunnel becomes compressed or pinched and, thus, causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and fingers.
Don’t Miss: How To Sprain Your Wrist Without Pain And Fast
When Would My Doctor Suggest Surgery
Over time, carpal tunnel syndrome can weaken the muscles of your hands and wrists. If symptoms go on for too long, your condition will keep getting worse.
If any of these sound like your situation, your doctor might suggest surgery:
- Other treatments like braces, corticosteroids, and changes to your daily routine havenât helped.
- You have pain, numbness, and tingling that donât go away or get better in 6 months.
- You find it harder to grip, grasp, or pinch objects like you once did.
How Well Does Surgery Work
Most people who have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome have less or no pain and numbness in their hand and better hand function after surgery.footnote 1 It’s not clear how long you should try non-surgical treatment before considering surgery. But after people who have severe carpal tunnel syndrome have surgery, they typically have fewer symptoms and better hand function than people who continue using wrist splints or a combination of medicine and hand therapy.footnote 2
Both types of surgeryopen and endoscopicwork equally well to improve symptoms.footnote 3 Talk to your doctor about which surgery might be best for you.
Major problems from surgery can happen, but they are rare. About 1 person out of 100 has a major problem after surgery, such as nerve damage, while 99 out of 100 people don’t.footnote 3
Don’t Miss: Is Heat Or Ice Better For Sciatica Pain
Include Exercises To Reduce Carpal Tunnel Pain
There are a few exercises you can do each day that will help relieve the pressure on the nerves that are causing pain. It strengthens your wrists and helps to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Do it daily and you will find improvements in your wrist pain. It is also great for preventing any future issues with Carpal Tunnel.
Using all these methods together have dramatically decreased my carpal tunnel pain to where Im now back to living my life. At first it didnt remove all the pain, but after doing all these tips for a while, I now can go months without pain. I now hardly notice any carpal tunnel pain unless I have really over done the typing on the computer or the crocheting. I still dont have the same strength in my hands that I did before, like I cant open bottles, soda bottles, jars of pickles, etc without help, but at least I dont have the constant throbbing pain!
I hope these tips can help you better manage your carpal tunnel as well!
Research Credentials And Experience
Take time to research the doctors credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in hand surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, or neurosurgery, and who performs carpal tunnel release on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has with carpal tunnel release, the better your results are likely to be.
Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions.
Youll find all this information on Healthgrades.com.
Recommended Reading: Is Heat Or Ice Good For Nerve Pain
Carpal Tunnel Answers By Doctors:
This is a great question Robert, since Carpal Tunnel Surgery has only a 50 to 60 percent success rate and CTS comes back within 6 months to 7 years after surgery for 85% of people. Having a surgery performed on any condition that comes back is not ideal.
Any surgery has a lot of risks and potential complications. The same is true with Carpal Tunnel Surgery. So, most people do not want to repeatedly exposure themselves to the risks with repeated surgical procedures.
Also, the rehabilitation, after Carpal Tunnel Surgery, can take anywhere from six weeks to one year. Another thing to consider is that there is often permanent loss of grip strength and permanent tenderness at the point of incision following a surgical procedure for Carpal Tunnel. So, you are thinking about treating CTS in the right way.
There are other many options for treating Carpal Tunnel, and it can be confusing to know where to turn. Most options you find online will not put your symptoms in remission. There are a lot of tall claims.
However, if you want to avoid surgery, it is best to start with a treatment option that has the highest chance of working to relieve you symptoms quickly without downtime, without complications, at the minimum cost, with a money back guarantee.
Neurologists call the Carpal Solution Therapy: The best first line treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
So, Yes there is a way to treat Carpal Tunnel without Surgery. The Carpal Solution Treatment is the best option. We can help You!
Professional Orthopaedic Associates: Get Back To A Life Without Limits
Since 1985, we have been offering excellence in orthopaedic and sports medicine care. Our fellowship-trained doctors specializing in the hand, wrist, or elbow, Dr. Harry Bade, Dr. Christopher Johnson, Dr. David Gentile, and Dr. Allen Nicholson, have years of expertise in diagnosing and treating complex hand, elbow, and wrist injuries and conditions. They draw from this combined knowledge base to bring the very best to our patients.
Additionally, they value and are committed to ongoing professional education. Our wrist, elbow, and hand surgeons attend courses and proactively learn the latest procedures and surgical techniques for wrist conditions, elbow injuries, and hand issues. They also serve as thought leaders, lecturing and writing about orthopaedic treatment and care. Our specialty-trained wrist surgeons, hand doctors, and elbow specialists are some of the most highly respected in our region.
Read Also: Is Heat Or Ice Better For Sciatica Pain
What Are The Risks Of Carpal Tunnel Surgery
As with most surgeries, carpal tunnel release is not without its risks. Your wrist will be made numb and you may be given medicine to make you sleepy and not feel pain for the procedure. In some cases general anesthesia is used, this when drugs are used to put you into a deep sleep during surgery. Anesthesia poses risks for some people. Other potential risks of a carpal tunnel release surgery include:
- Injury to the median nerve or nerves that branch out from it
- Injuries to nearby blood vessels
- A sensitive scar
The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes time anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time, recovery may take even longer. Recovery involves splinting your wrist and getting physical therapy to strengthen and heal the wrist and hand.
There may be other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.
Surgical Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Since continued carpal tunnel can result in permanent nerve damage, if conservative treatments do not relieve your hand and wrist pain your hand surgeon may recommend carpal tunnel surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery increases the space surrounding the media nerve by sectioning the transverse carpal ligament and opening up the volar aspect of the carpal tunnel. Options for carpal tunnel surgery include:
- Open Release Carpal Tunnel surgery
- Endoscopic directed release carpal tunnel surgery
- Minimal incision release carpal tunnel surgery
Schedule a consult today with a hand surgeon to determine the best treatment option for your specific case.
Don’t Miss: Will A Heating Pad Help Sciatic Nerve Pain
Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by a variety of risk factors that eventually develop into the condition. The condition typically begins gradually as pressure is put on the median nerve in the wrist. If left untreated, the compression can intensify to cause severe pain.
Other causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to have surgery
Reasons not to have surgery
I tried other treatments, but my pain is still bad.
I can live with the pain while I give other treatments some more time to work.
I don’t mind having surgery if it can get rid of my symptoms.
I just don’t want to have surgery.
I’m not worried about the small chance of problems from surgery.
I don’t want to take even a small chance of something going wrong with surgery.
I’m afraid of having lasting nerve damage from carpal tunnel syndrome.
I’m not worried that I’ll have lasting nerve damage from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Recommended Reading: Does It Hurt To Cut Your Wrists
Integrated Approach To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common hand problem treated by Loyola Medicines experienced hand surgeons. Loyolas doctors use an integrated approach to care, combining the expertise of orthopaedic specialists and occupational therapists who focus on hand and wrist therapy.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. The median nerve runs through this tunnel from your forearm into your palm when its pressed or squeezed at the wrist, it can lead to numbness, weakness or pain. You may feel a burning, tingling or itching feeling in your palm or fingers.
If you have persistent symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, or if it keeps you from sleeping or doing your everyday activities, make an appointment to see a Loyola orthopaedic specialist. Leaving the condition untreated can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible, under a doctor’s direction. Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first.
- Splinting. Initial treatment is usually a splint worn at night.
- Avoiding daytime activities that may provoke symptoms. Some people with slight discomfort may wish to take frequent breaks from tasks, to rest the hand. If the wrist is red, warm and swollen, applying cool packs can help.
- Over-the-counter drugs. In special circumstances, various medications can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may provide some short-term relief from discomfort but havent been shown to treat CTS.
- Prescription medicines. Corticosteroids or the drug lidocaine can be injected directly into the wrist or taken by mouth to relieve pressure on the median nerve in people with mild or intermittent symptoms.
- Alternative therapies. Acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited some individuals but their effectiveness remains unproved. An exception is yoga, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength among those with CTS.
Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare. Less than half of individuals report their hand feeling completely normal following surgery. Some residual numbness or weakness is common..
You May Like: Is Stomach Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy