Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as a pressure on the wrist nerve. It often triggers numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and fingers. It can be managed at home, but it can take several months to get better.
Do I have carpal tunnel syndrome?
The signs of carpal tunnel syndrome include the following:
- Numb hands
- Pain or discomfort in the hand, fingers or arm
- Tingling or pins and needles sensation
- Weak thumb or difficulty holding objects
These signs often manifest slowly and might come and go. In most cases, they worsen at night time.
Management of carpal tunnel syndrome
The condition oftentimes settles on its own in just a few months, especially if due to pregnancy.
- Wrist splint – this is worn on the hand to maintain the wrist in a straight position. It also helps lessen the pressure on the nerve. The splint is worn at night while sleeping, usually for at least 4 weeks before the individual starts to feel better.
- Limit activity – reduce or stop any activity responsible for repeated bending of the wrist or gripping especially vibrating tools in the workplace or playing an instrument
- Pain medications – these drugs provide brief relief to the pain
In case a wrist splint is not effective, the doctor might suggest a steroid shot into the wrist. This helps lessen the swelling around the nerve to ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The steroid shots are not always a cure though. The condition might recur after a few months and another shot is needed.