Conservative treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hand and wrist, causing pain, numbness and tingling. Individuals dealing with CTS can try several available treatment options.

Trying different treatments under medical supervision may provide relief if you have work-related CTS.

Rest and activity modification

Reducing or modifying activities that worsen symptoms can help ease discomfort. You should avoid repetitive wrist movements and prolonged computer use. When you have to perform these activities, take frequent breaks and use the proper ergonomic position.

Wrist splinting

You can wear wrist splints at night or during activities that trigger CTS symptoms. These splints keep the wrist in a neutral position, reducing pressure on the median nerve. They are particularly effective in mild to moderate cases of CTS.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist can teach you exercises and stretches to improve wrist strength and flexibility. They may also use techniques such as ultrasound therapy and manual therapy to reduce pain and inflammation in the wrist area.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage uncomfortable inflammation. Your healthcare provider may recommend corticosteroid injections into the carpal tunnel for temporary symptom relief.

Lifestyle modifications

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk and severity of CTS symptoms. In addition, smoking can impair blood flow and exacerbate symptoms, so you may want to quit if you have CTS and smoke.

Alternative therapies

Some individuals find relief through alternative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care. You may want to try these treatments with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

If your CTS symptoms do not respond to conservative treatments, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery. According to the National Library of Medicine, carpal tunnel surgery has few complications and a success rate of up to 90%. Seeking medical care early when you have symptoms can improve outcomes with this diagnosis.

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