Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment: Non-surgical Procedures Options

Carpal tunnel syndrome is developed when the median nerve travels from the forearm to the hand and becomes compressed at the wrist. It can cause pain, numbness, or tingling in your fingers. 

Depending on the severity of the disease, Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment may involve wrist splints, physical therapy, medicines, or even surgery. Adherence to the approved treatment regimen is critical to control symptoms and avoid future harm. 

These non-surgical methods can help lessen CTS symptoms and allow you to live a more pleasant life. However, surgery may be required when non-surgical treatments for carpal tunnel fail to relieve the strain on the median nerve. To discover the best course of therapy for your unique instance of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can speak with a healthcare practitioner.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options For CTS

  • Rest and Immobilization

Rest and immobilisation are the first lines of defence against the syndrome. Rest allows the body to heal and recover from injuries, whereas immobilisation helps prevent further injury or strain to the damaged region. 

Prolonged rest and immobility, on the other hand, can cause muscular weakening and loss of function. Thus it is critical to resume exercise as soon as possible.

  • Wrist Splinting

External support, such as splints and bracing, can help relieve strain on the median nerve. Using a custom-fit splint prescribed by your doctor may prevent future tendon injuries and allow them to heal in a more natural posture. 

Splints can also relieve pain, especially when worn at night while sleeping. Bracing can also alleviate stress on the wrist and forearm muscles when moving. Two splints are common:

  • Splints to rest the hand and wrist joints, as well as 
  • splints to support the hand and wrist while working.

Resting splints are recommended if you experience discomfort, for occasional support during the day, or during arthritic flare-ups. On the other hand, working splints are recommended when your wrist or thumb is inflamed, you’re in greater pain than normal, and your hand joints feel weak.

Wearing these splints requires different techniques, and your physician is in the best position to guide you to prevent any risk to the affected area.

  • Physical Therapy

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment without surgery is feasible as physical therapy provides long-term benefits. Physical treatment can assist in improving wrist and forearm strength and flexibility, preventing future accidents, and alleviating carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. 

Exercises to enhance posture and ergonomics may also be included, lowering the chance of developing repetitive strain injuries. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor might recommend any or all of the following treatments:

  • Stretching exercises.
  • Strengthening exercise
  • Cold and heat treatments.

Before beginning any physical therapy programme, speaking with a healthcare practitioner to verify that it is safe and beneficial for the individual’s unique needs is critical. Incorporating pauses and stretches into regular activities can help avoid wrist and forearm problems.

  • Occupational Therapy

Another non-surgical carpal tunnel syndrome treatment is occupational therapy, which focuses on increasing hand and wrist strength, flexibility, and range of motion with exercises and stretches, providing ergonomic education and altering everyday routines to lessen the strain on the afflicted region. 

Occupational therapy can be used for both pre and post-surgical treatments. Pre-operative occupational therapy comprises assessing the patient’s functional skills, educating them on post-operative precautions, and devising a customised care plan. 

  • Ergonomic Adjustments

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment and ergonomic adjustments go hand in hand. Ergonomic adjustments are essential to prevent and treat CTS. These adjustments can include changes in posture, work environment, and equipment used to reduce strain on the hands and wrists. 

Using ergonomic recommendations to arrange your activities and work area can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Office ergonomics practices include positioning your desk, computer display, papers, chair, and accompanying gadgets, such as a keyboard and mouse. The same concepts might assist you in arranging your position for various daily chores.

You can apply the same principles at home to create an ergonomic workstation that lowers the strain on your body. You may also use these ideas to arrange your kitchen or pantry to promote productivity and decrease time spent looking for goods. 

Installing pull-out drawers, lazy susans, and adjustable shelving in the kitchen will help you access goods more easily and lessen the strain on your body when cooking or cleaning. 

Another suggestion is to place comparable goods together and properly mark them for easy identification. Ergonomic equipment, such as adjustable seats and standing desks, can also increase comfort and reduce injury or strain.

  • Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and swelling. NSAIDs also reduce inflammation in the nerve sheath and may inhibit some molecules that cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Ibuprofen and naproxen are common drugs that may be purchased over the counter or prescribed based on your requirements.

Similarly, corticosteroid injections directly into the carpal tunnel can help decrease oedema and pressure within the tunnel. Since injections might affect joint mobility and alter adjacent nerve tissue, they are normally used after oral drugs fail to treat pain. Therefore, before taking any drug, you should consult a doctor and follow the specific dosing recommendations on the packaging.

Recognising CTS medications’ potential side effects and dangers and their potential benefits is critical. Patients should advise their doctor of any pre-existing medical issues or drugs they take to avoid potential drug interactions. 

It is also critical to quickly report any bad reactions to the medicine to your doctor. A doctor can help you balance these issues and choose the best course of therapy for you.

Summing Up!

Non-surgical carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, such as wrist splints, physical therapy, and medication, can be beneficial in reducing symptoms and improving hand function. 

However, surgery is required in extreme situations or when conservative methods fail to give long-term relief. Before deciding, your doctor can determine whether surgery is required or whether the non-invasive option is still beneficial. 

Several carpal tunnel syndrome treatments combine standard and alternative procedures, such as physical therapy, splinting, and medication, to get the best outcome for relieving pain and swelling. 

It is critical to speak with a healthcare expert who can advise on the best treatment approach for each particular instance of carpal tunnel syndrome. It can help assure the best possible outcome while lowering the chance of complications.

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