Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel
The median nerve runs from your forearm into the palm of your hand. When it experiences pressure, you may have a condition known as carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel is one of the most common hand disorders and leads to symptoms like pain and tingling in the fingers and feelings of numbness at night.
If you have carpal tunnel, you may find it difficult to complete everyday tasks like writing, holding a small object, using a keyboard, and even driving. So if you’re struggling with this condition, you may be wondering how to treat it. Keep reading to learn about treatment options for carpal tunnel.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel
If you’re showing any symptoms of carpal tunnel, it’s important to see a doctor so they can perform a thorough evaluation. They may conduct the Tinel’s sign test where they tap the median nerve and see if any tingling in your fingers arises. X-rays of the wrist and an electromyography (EMG) may also be ordered to figure out how the median nerve is working and how it aids with the movement of muscles.
Fortunately, many cases of carpal tunnel can be treated without surgery. If you have a mild to moderate case, your doctor will likely recommend anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or cortisone injections. They may also prescribe a splint that you’ll need to wear at night.
Your doctor may also suggest that you modify your environment to reduce symptoms. This is particularly true if you work an office job that tends to worsen the condition. Lowering or raising your chair, changing the position of your hand or wrist regularly, and moving your keyboard may all help.
If conservative treatments deem to be ineffective or your condition is considered severe, surgery may be necessary. Surgical intervention can expand your tunnel to relieve pressure and resolve your symptoms. In most cases, surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is an outpatient procedure. You will receive stitches which will likely be removed about two weeks after surgery.
Preventing Carpal Tunnel
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of carpal tunnel. Keep your wrists straight, don’t flex or extend your wrists often, and take frequent breaks from repetitive activities like typing or swinging a golf club. Stretching before physical activities may also be beneficial.
Living with carpal tunnel and ready for relief? Contact your doctor as soon as possible.