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      Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Intro

If your symptoms last a long time and are not relieved with recommended home care, you should see your doctor.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is rarely an emergency. Milder cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have been shown to respond to nonsurgical treatment. The first line of treatment for mild carpal tunnel syndrome is to wear a wrist brace. This has been shown to relieve the symptoms from the carpal tunnel by placing the wrist in a neutral position and reducing the nerve irritation. If carpal tunnel syndrome persists for a long time, permanent nerve injury is possible that will cause numbness and weakness in the hand. Treatment is directed at preservation of hand function.

Self-Care at Home

Home care for carpal tunnel syndrome is straightforward and can often provide relief for mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wear a wrist splint (can be purchased at most drug)Stores to keep the wrist in a neutral position at rest. Splinting is usually tried for a period of 4-6 weeks. Some people wear their splints at night only and others wear their splints both day and night, depending upon when the symptoms are at their worst. If no relief is found at 4-6 weeks, the splints are not likely to help.

Other Therapy

Physical therapy can be particularly useful after carpal tunnel surgery. Therapy can reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain after surgery. Therapy can also help to restore strength after surgery. Not everyone needs therapy after surgery, but for some, it can be very helpful.

Follow-up

Wear your wrist splint and take all medication as directed.

Keep any return appointments, even if you feel better, so your doctor can monitor your progress and make changes to your treatment plan if necessary.

Prevention

Avoiding smoking, maintaining appropriate weight, and regularly exercising may help prevent the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Modification of workstations, keyboards, and tools has been attempted to try to prevent the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Whether these interventions help is unknown. Appropriate treatment of wrist arthritis, when present, can prevent or treat Syndrcarpal tunnel syndrome.

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