Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Is Surgery My Only Option?
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpel tunnel is where the median nerve, various tendons, and muscles cross over the palmar side of the wrist and hand. Since it is such small space, once one of these structures is irritated numerous problems can arise.
The most common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers as well as pain on the palmar side of the wrist. There are varying degrees of severity of CTS but, if found early, conservative treatment can be an option.
Is Surgery the Best Option?
Anytime your doctor mentions the word surgery, there are so many questions that need to be answered:
- How long will I be under anesthesia?
- What are the risk factors?
- Will it be worth it?
- Will it work?
- Will I be off work? If so how long?
- How will this affect my daily life?
With all of these uncertainties sometimes surgery does not seem to be the best option at that time. Sometimes we want to explore the more conservative treatment options because choosing to have surgery is a major decision. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, surgery may be the best way to relieve your symptoms but there are other ways to manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and talking to your doctor about your situation will help you determine your needs.
Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most common management of the symptoms is to wear a wrist brace. It needs to be a Wrist Cock Up Splint (WCUS) that keeps the wrist in a neutral position (slightly extended). This will help keep the median nerve from being pinched or compressed to alleviate any irritation. Most people wear the wrist brace(s) while sleeping since we like to flex our wrists when we are asleep. If you are having pain while awake or with activity it is okay to wear the brace(s) then.
Other treatment techniques that can help manage your pain, along with the wrist brace, are yoga, hand therapy, and ultrasound therapy. You can also use these daily movement/stretching techniques offered by sportsmedpress.com:
Movement: Gently move your wrist from side to side in a handshake motion. Hold for 5 seconds on each side. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets.
Strengthening: With a rubber ball in your palm hold a squeezing grip around the ball for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
If you have questions, you can call Bioworks at 513-793-7335 or complete our <a href=”https://cryptnsend.com/bio1/bio1.php”>contact form</a>.<em> As always, you should consult your primary care physician before beginning this or any treatment or exercise routine. </em>
(Photo credit: www.freeimages.com photographer: Carpal Tunnel Gadgets)