Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects the hand and wrist, creating numbness, tingling or pain. This happens when the nerve running from your forearm to your hand is pinched or compressed. Many people experience this from their career, hormonal changes, or excess pressure on the wrist. If possible, the first thing to do is stop the activity causing compression, numbness or pain.
You may be able to manage your carpal tunnel and find pain relief right at home with these steps:
- Soak your hand in an ice bath or ice your wrist for about 10-15 minutes per hour or as needed.
- Soak your hand in warm water, between 92-100 degrees, while gently moving your hand and wrist. This regimen should be done 4 times per day or as needed. Keeping your hands warm can help with stiffness. For example, wearing fingerless gloves may help.
- Shake out your hand while sleeping to relieve pain or gently hang your hand over the side of the bed.
- Use a wrist splint to keep your forearm and hand aligned. This can be purchased at a drugstore. Wearing the splint at night can help with overextending your wrist while you rest. Keeping your wrist aligned can help relieve pressure on your median nerve.
- Researchers have discovered that for some, using a topical pain relief will help to greatly reduce pain throughout the day.
- Hand exercises to help open the carpal tunnel may help, such as touching your thumb and pinky finger, and gently squeezing them together.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with food, such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help relieve pain. Be sure to consult with your physician before taking any new medication.
If you have issues with repetitive tasks during the day or at work, a splint is highly recommended. Stabilizing your wrist is often an effective way to reduce pain associated with carpal tunnel. Splints can even be made in the comfort of your own home!
Many people use electrical tape by wrapping a small amount (like a band) around the wrist. This tape does not cut off circulation, it has low adhesive, the material is stretchy, and does not hurt during removal. This will reduce the pain, tingling and numbness by keeping the carpal tunnel open.
Another homemade wrist splint can be made by using kinesiology tape. To effectively secure your wrist, in some cases, you have to wrap it in a way that restricts the movement of your thumb, hand and fingers. This tape has been shown to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with carpal tunnel by gently lifting the skin and reducing pressure on the carpal bones.
If these remedies do not seem to help or relieve pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, call us for a consultation to find out your options for pain relief (843) 449-1000.