What is the best treatment for carpal tunnel?

From wrist stretches to watching what you eat, you have a lot of options when it comes to treating carpal tunnel syndrome.  Just remember that what helps your friend or relative may not work the same for you. You may need to try out different approaches to get the relief you need.

Carpal Tunnel Relief Exercises that Work

Exercise.  Too much is bad in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome.  Always be aware not to overdo an exercise when this condition is involved.  Try this:

Thumb Touches

  • One at a time, touch the tip of every finger to the tip of your thumb so that they make an O-shape.
  • Repeat a few times.

Basic Wrist Stretches

  • Sit down at a table.
  • Rest your elbow and arm on the table and let your wrist hang over the side, with the palm of your hand facing up.
  • Start with your hand in a straight, neutral position.
  • Bend your hand toward you so your fingers point up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Return to a straight, neutral position.

The other extreme is surgery.  What does this involve?

Carpal tunnel treatment surgery

During open carpal tunnel release surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut, which releases the pressure on the median nerve and relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.  An incision is made at the base of the palm of the hand.  This allows the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament.  Once the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches.  The gap where the ligament was cut is left and after time fills up with scar tissue.

How about non-surgery methods?

Carpal tunnel treatment without surgery

While carpal tunnel syndrome can be uncomfortable or painful, you can treat it in your own home.  Here are three ways you can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome at home:

  1. Ice your wrist or soak it in an ice bath for 10 minutes to 15 minutes once or twice an hour.
  2. Relieve night time pain by carefully shaking your hand and wrist or hanging your hand over the side of the bed.
  3. Immerse your hand in warm water with a temperature between 33-38 degrees Centigrade and gently move  or flex your hand and wrist.  Do this three to four times a day.

Carpal Tunnel Foods to eat

The goal in treating carpal tunnel syndrome is to reduce inflammation, and antioxidant-rich foods have the effect of reducing inflammation. It’s important to eat plenty of brightly colored fruit and vegetables, like red peppers.  Eat as much as you like of red peppers and other colorful produce as well, including tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers, and leafy greens. The more colorful, the better.

Carpal Tunnel Wrist Splint

How Can a Wrist Brace Help?

Most people bend their wrists when they sleep.  That puts pressure on the median nerve. A brace can help because it keeps your wrist in a straight, neutral position.  A 2012 study found that using a wrist brace at night did more to relieve carpal tunnel symptoms than using no treatment at all.



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