Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an increasingly common disorder that can cause numbness and weakness in the hands. Franciscan Health offers both surgical and non-surgical carpal tunnel treatment options.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, located on the palm side of your wrist.
Carpal tunnel symptoms include
- Numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and ring fingers
- Weakness in hand grip or pinch
- Pain in the thumb side of the hand during the day or even waking you up at night
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs most often in people 30 to 60 years old. It's more common in women than men.
How to Treat Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel treatment can include surgical and non-surgical options. Talk to your doctor to see what the best fit is for you in treating carpal tunnel.
Treating carpal tunnel without surgery
If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, make an appointment with your doctor. There are a variety of options to treat carpal tunnel syndrome that do not require surgery:
- Avoid activities that involve bending wrist all the way up or down to reduce risk of pressure in the carpal tunnel.
- Avoid activities involving heavy gripping or equipment when wrist is all the way up or down.
- Take breaks as needed and stretch hand and arm, when using heavy equipment and vibrating tools.
- Support wrist in mid line, place forearm at elbow level to reduce stress on your wrist, elbow bent in 90 degrees, relaxed against your upper body, shoulder in a relaxed position to have optimal nerve and blood circulation when using computer key board.
- Keep diabetes and hypertension under control.
- Stay active and participate in an exercise program as recommended by your physician.
- See an occupational therapist, when recommended by your physician, who can evaluate, make a wrist brace and make recommendations on activity modifications or adaptive devices to reduce symptoms.
- Consult with your physician if symptoms develop and/or persist.
Carpal tunnel surgery
For those who do not respond to non-surgical carpal tunnel treatment, surgery is a possible solution. Carpal tunnel surgery will improve strength, function and flexibility of your wrist and fingers. Carpal tunnel surgery is typically outpatient and most people return to normal activities within two months.