Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the result of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. When this small space narrows even further, causing pain and discomfort in the wrist and hand, you have CTS. In this post, we briefly look at how a carpal tunnel brace can help manage the pain and discomfort of this condition. We also briefly discuss other strategies for managing the condition.
CTS is often caused by overuse of the wrist. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the wrist and hand and are typically felt more acutely at night.
People who work jobs emphasizing repetitive tasks done with the hands, such as typing or sorting, and athletes in sports where the wrist factors prominently, such as tennis or baseball, are at the most risk of developing carpal tunnel.
There are a few ways in which to help manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel and help those suffering from the condition return to their normal lives. We will primarily focus on how certain types of wrist brace can be effective treatments to strengthen and heal the wrist.
How A Carpal Tunnel Brace Can Help
Symptoms of carpal tunnel often manifest themselves the most at night. That is because it is difficult to control your wrists while you sleep. The action of twisting and turning or simply sleeping with your arm and wrist in a less-than-ideal position can exacerbate the problem. Wearing a wrist brace for carpal tunnel keeps the wrist straight, avoiding pressure on your nerve.
If the cause of your carpal tunnel stems from the type of work you do, wearing orthopedic splints during the day may also help. Carpal tunnel may not result from directly your work tasks. However, repetitive activities can take a toll, especially if your form is improper. Wearing a wrist brace for carpal tunnel can help correct your form and relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel. Simultaneously, it strengthens the structures in your arm, wrist and hand to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Those with mild CTS may also consider other forms of wrist support, e.g. support bandages or athletic tape. These can have the same rehabilitating effects as orthopedic wrist braces. However, they are often more comfortable and allow for greater range of motion.
Other Ways to Manage Carpal Tunnel
If you are using a carpal tunnel brace but require additional methods to help you strengthen your wrist, relieve symptoms and spur recovery, there are many different ways to make progress. Physical and/or occupational therapists can teach you hand exercises to reduce pressure on the median nerve and improve blood circulation. They can also improve your workplace environment to avoid stress and change the way you move your hands and wrists.
Other methods that provide short-term relief for CTS symptoms include anti-inflammatories and applying ice to the area. Long-term methods for combatting CTS include stretching, trigger point massage and yoga. Additional exercises designed to mobilize the nerve may be prescribed by physiotherapists, OTs and chiropractors.