Have you been experiencing wrist and hand pain that worsens when performing certain movements? It may be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, which is characterized by compression of a nerve in your wrist.
You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome from everyday activities such as typing, playing a musical instrument and working with certain tools. Frequent engagement in these activities can cause compression of a nerve in your wrist leading to pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in your hand and wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome may affect one or both hands. The symptoms are usually worse in the evening. It can last months and may disrupt routine activities. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help relieve your symptoms:
Straighten Your Wrists: Keeping your wrists in a neutral position whenever possible helps minimize nerve compression, easing your symptoms.
- Wrist Splints: A wrist splint can also be used to keep your wrist straight. As symptoms are more severe later in the day, that’s when your splint is most helpful.
- Take a Break: Avoiding repetitive activities which are part of your daily routine may not be feasible. Taking regular breaks during your tasks can help keep your symptoms under control.
- Reduce Force: Changing the way you perform certain tasks can influence the onset and severity of your symptoms. Typing softly or relaxing your grip on a pen or instrument, using just the right amount of force necessary, can be helpful.
- Keep Warm: Using gloves to keep your hands warm helps reduce pain and stiffness. You can use fingerless gloves if you need to.
- Stretch: Simple wrist stretches such as opening and closing a fist whenever you find the time helps relieve your symptoms.
- Hands Up: Carpal tunnel syndrome may be associated with fluid retention. Elevating your hands occasionally can help drain this fluid relieving pressure.
- Medications: Medications can help relieve pain and inflammation. Topical menthol seems to be quite effective in controlling pain.
Should these remedies not give you adequate relief, you should consult a doctor. Ignoring symptoms might lead to permanent nerve damage. Your doctor may recommend wrist injections or surgery to relieve nerve compression, avoid nerve damage and help you feel better.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California
specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions