Any individual who experiences numbness or tingling sensations in the hands or arm simply indicates carpal tunnel syndrome. This is true especially if the sensation lasted for several months or become worse over time.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop once a nerve in the wrist is pinched or compressed. In most cases, this is a result of any daily activity such as playing a musical instrument, frequent use of vibrating hand tools or manual labor.
The condition usually starts out slowly and in a gradual manner. It can affect only one hand or both. There is tingling or numbness in the fingers especially the index finger and the thumb. In addition, there is also an uncomfortable sensation or weakness in the wrists.
Remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome
If an individual experiences the mild symptoms, you can alleviate the symptoms with medications and lifestyle modifications.
- Taking a break from monotonous tasks – Whether playing a guitar or operating a hand drill, it is best to set a timer for 15 minutes. Once it turns off, stop activity and move the fingers. Stretch the hands and move the wrists to improve the flow of blood to these areas.
- Splinting of the wrists – The wrists should stay straight to relieve the pressure off the median nerve. Since the symptoms are common at night time, using a splint in the evening can relieve the symptoms.
- Take time to lighten up on activity – When engaging in activities that involves the hands and wrists, it is idea to relax the grip or minimize the force used.
- Reduce extreme flexion of the wrists in either direction and keep the wrists in neutral as much as possible.
- Always keep the hands warm to relieve the stiffness and pain. It is best to use hand warmers or fingerless gloves.
- Stretching the wrists by creating a fist and then sliding the fingers until straight again can be performed. This must be repeated 5-10 times to alleviate the pressure off the wrist.
- Elevate the hands and wrists if possible.
- Provide the individual with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Apply a pain relief ointment or cream such as topical menthol. Based on studies, it drastically reduces the pain during a hectic workday. Just make sure that the packaging instructions are followed.
Traditional treatment measures
In serious cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, consulting a doctor is usually needed. The doctor might prescribe corticosteroids to reduce the pain and inflammation. These medications minimize the degree of swelling and pressure placed on the median nerve.
The injections are considered more effective than those taken orally. This therapy might be more effective if the condition is triggered by inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In some cases, surgery might be recommended to alleviate the pressure off the nerve. The procedure releases the nerve and increases the space around it. In severe cases, surgery might not clear up the symptoms entirely but it can help the individual feel better and prevent further damage to the nerve.