Non-Surgical Remedies for a Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common hand and wrist condition that affects millions of people around the world. It’s associated with pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the hand and wrist and is a common occurrence if you live a lifestyle that involves repetitive tasks, such as hand sports and typing. While surgical intervention may be necessary in severe cases, non-surgical remedies offer a valuable alternative for managing symptoms and improving hand function at home. This article explores the various non-surgical treatments for CTS, ranging from wrist splinting to gentle hand exercises to help you find some much-needed relief.

Wear a Brace or Splint

Person in white coat holding silver and blue ring by Tom Claes is licensed with Unsplash License

Many people wake up in the middle of the night struggling with CTS, such as pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in the hands and wrists. Wearing a wrist splint or brace at night can help keep the wrist in a neutral position while you rest. This can help to reduce pressure on the median nerve and alleviate the associated symptoms. At the Hand and Wrist Institute in Texaswe also recommend wearing a wrist brace or splint while driving, as it can provide support and stability to the wrist and avoid exacerbating the symptoms of CTS.

Perform Hand and Wrist Stretches

Performing specific exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the hand and wrist can be helpful. These gentle movements target the exact parts of the hands and wrists affected by CTS and can reduce stiffness and pain and improve flexibility. Common examples of exercises for CTS include:

Try Cortisone Injections

Cortisone or corticosteroid is a strong anti-inflammatory and can be an effective non-surgical treatment for CTS. At the Hand and Wrist Institute in Texas, we may recommend corticosteroid injections if more conservative methods have failed to relieve moderate to severe symptoms. The process involves injecting cortisone into the wrist to reduce pain and inflammation.

Exercise More

Studies suggest that regular exercise, especially activities involving the hands, may help protect against mild CTS. Exercise can help build strength, flexibility, and circulation in the hands and wrists. It can also reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms associated with CTS. Try swimming, gentle yoga poses, or stretching exercises that focus on improving mobility and flexibility to reduce tension in the hands and wrists.

Adjust Your Daily Activities

If you have CTS, you may need to adjust your daily routine to minimize discomfort. Avoid activities that worsen your symptoms or strain the wrists to reduce inflammation and pain, such as knitting, gardening, or playing musical instruments. Here are some examples of how you can modify your activities:

Practice Ergonomic Computer Habits

In today’s digital age, prolonged computer use has become inevitable, but it often comes with the risk of developing CTS. However, by adopting more ergonomic computer habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of CTS. Here are some suggestions:

Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices

CTS can significantly impact your daily life, but adopting healthier lifestyle choices can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being. Here are some recommendations:

Seek Professional Advice

If you’re struggling with CTS and your symptoms aren’t getting better or they’re getting worse, it’s time to consult a medical professional, such as an orthopedic specialist, who can provide personalized guidance and treatment options tailored to your individual needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at The Hand and Wrist Institute in Texas, the U.S.’s leading hand and wrist specialists. We can recommend specific exercises, therapies, or non-surgical remedies for CTS to improve hand function and help you find relief from your symptoms.

Dr. John Knight
Dr. John Knight

Dr. Knight is a renowned hand, wrist and upper extremity surgeon with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Knight is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellowship trained. Dr Knight has appeared on CNN, The Doctors TV, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Oxygen network and more.