Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common nerve condition in which the median nerve is compressed or pinched while passing through the wrist’s inflamed and narrowed carpal tunnel. Manifesting as numbness, tingling, and severe pain in the thumb and first three fingers; even the shoulders in extreme cases, performing simple daily tasks can become difficult with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
You might have to book an appointment with a top orthopedic surgeon. However, the condition can easily be relieved through the following home-friendly treatments:
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This treatment works best for reducing inflammation and pain caused by repetitive actions. Simply apply ice to your wrists for 15-20 minutes at a time once or twice an hour. This can be followed by soaking them in ice water for 10-15 minutes for maximum benefit. If direct rubbing is too painful, wrap the ice in a towel before applying. Conversely, try submerging your hand and wrist in warm water and gently flex for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
2- Wrist Splints:
Wrist splints or braces prevent wrist bending and keep the hand properly aligned, hence keeping the muscles from flexing and overextending and causing further pain. Generally worn while sleeping (when the wrists bend involuntarily) and performing flare-up triggering motions like working on the computer, wrist splints are the primary treatment of choice alongside icing. However, ensure that the splints are snug but not tight and wait 3-4 weeks for full recovery.
3- Motion Control:
Jobs that require bending the wrists up or down for prolonged time periods are a common cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Practicing keeping them in a straight neutral position and taking 5-minute breaks every hour to hold and stretch the hands can help reduce the pain by facilitating blood flow to the hands. For further pain reduction and to prevent a recurrence you should:
- Alternate between hands instead of repeatedly pressuring one.
- Lightly grip objects like hand tools and pens, and tap the keyboard gently
- Roll your shoulders backwards instead of forwards to avoid further wrist strains
- Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle to the keyboard
- Periodically elevate your hands and wrists if Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pregnancy or a previous fracture.
Regularly performing the following simple exercises can help improve and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Spider Pushups: From a prayer position, spread your fingers apart as far as possible and separate the palms while keeping the fingers together. Do at least 5-7 flexes at a time.
- The Shake: Imitate shaking your hands like you would when drying them after washing for 1-2 minutes every hour to prevent nerve tightening.
- Stretch Armstrong: With your arm straight in front of you and wrist facing downwards, slightly spread the fingers and gently apply pressure with the other hand to stretch the wrists and fingers as far as possible. Hold for 20 seconds, switch hands, and repeat 3-5 times every hour.
- You can also try relieving wrist pressure by making a fist and sliding your fingers until they are straight again. Do this 5-10 times every hour.
- Relieve nighttime pain by gently shaking the hand and wrist or hanging the hand over the bedside for a few seconds.
- NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin can be taken alongside the above home remedies in case of moderate-to-severe pain. However, consult with your doctor for any possible drug interactions if you are currently taking other medication.
- Corticosteroids and Steroids: Both oral corticosteroids and steroid injections provide pain relief by reducing swelling. However, steroid injections are only prescribed for a very short time period for pain control, usually before a surgery, due to side-effects like ruptured tendons, hypertension, and glaucoma.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is easily resolved through home-care and medication. However, you may require a surgical cutting of the ligament around the median nerve if the pain is unbearable or continues to persist despite conventional treatment.
Therefore, if you experience excruciating pain or if lasts longer than 6 months, consult your doctor for suitable treatment. You can also book appointment with a top Orthopedic Specialist in Karachi , Lahore and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your CTS troubles.