ZocdocAnswersWhat are the best treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Question

What are the best treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome?

I need to work, but my hand pain is getting worse. I'm desperate for ideas on how to stop the pain and get through the day.

Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful progressive condition that occurs when the median nerve becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrists. Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible, under a doctor's direction, to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve. There are nonsurgical and surgical treatments which depend on the severity of your condition and whether there is any nerve damage. Your doctor may give you a physical examination of your hands, arms, shoulders and neck to determine if your pain is related to daily activities or to an underlying disorder, and can rule out other painful conditions that mimic carpal tunnel syndrome. Physical therapy may be primary option for carpal tunnel syndrome. Stretching and strengthening exercises supervised by a physical therapist can be helpful in relieving the symptoms. At work you need to perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, reduce repetitive tasks, and wear splints to keep wrists straight, etc. Other nonsurgical treatments that may ease your symptoms involve drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids. If your symptoms persist for more than 6 months, surgery is generally recommended. Please schedule a visit with your doctor to receive proper assessment of your condition and appropriate recommendations to treat it to prevent permanent damage to the nerve.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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