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What are the Best Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Remedies?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated May 17, 2024
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Located on the underside of the wrist near the base of the hand, the carpal tunnel is a “passageway” made of bones and ligament which contains a collection of tendons and a nerve called the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when these tendons swell, putting pressure on the median nerve and in turn causing weakness, numbness, and pain in the hand, wrist, and arm. Luckily, several treatments can help ease this discomfort. The best carpal tunnel syndrome remedies include rest, wrist immobilization, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery.

Often, carpal tunnel syndrome is aggravated by forceful, repetitive wrist motions, such as those required to operate a jackhammer. Thus, for many individuals, one of the best carpal tunnel syndrome remedies is rest. More specifically, those performing jobs which are physically stressful to the wrists should attempt to take regular breaks of at least ten minutes throughout the workday.

Many carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers find that their condition is at its worst immediately after waking up. This may be because the wrists are turned or bent during sleep, denying inflamed tendons an opportunity to relax. One of the best nighttime carpal tunnel syndrome remedies is immobilization, or wrapping the wrist in a splint before going to sleep. This remedy prevents nocturnal twisting or bending of the wrist, allowing the tendons and median nerve to rest.

Anti-inflammatory medications are also among the most effective carpal tunnel syndrome remedies, as they can reduce tendon swelling and relieve pressure to the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers may wish to first try taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. Should wrist and hand discomfort fail to respond to over-the-counter drugs, a physician may prescribe a stronger anti-inflammatory. Some of these anti-inflammatories contain steroids and are injected into the wrist. Others do not contain steroids and are taken orally.

For those with very severe carpal tunnel syndrome that does not respond to minimally or moderately invasive treatments, surgery may be the best option. During this procedure, a surgeon makes an incision in the ligament which forms part of the carpal tunnel. This incision creates more space in the carpal tunnel area, which can significantly reduce or even eliminate pressure to the median nerve. Following recovery from this surgery, carpal tunnel-related pain may diminish or disappear. Those considering surgery should note, however, that following recovery, it can be difficult to return to a job which is physically stressful to the wrists.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet , Former Writer
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseGeek. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

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M.C. Huguelet

M.C. Huguelet

Former Writer

Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
Learn more
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