As a follow up to our previous post about the causes and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, we have put together this post outlining some treatment options for CTS. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated both surgically and non-surgically depending on the severity of symptoms.
For mild forms of carpal tunnel syndrome, non-surgical treatments are usually the best option. Here are some treatments that can help alleviate pain without having to undergo surgery:
- Icing your wrist and hand. Applying cold to the area can decrease inflammation.
- Taking breaks from activities that may be aggravating the condition, such as typing on a keyboard.
- NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) can be used to temporarily reduce pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- A wrist splint can be applied at night or during the day when wrist movement is not needed.
- Corticosteroid injections. These cannot be administered at home, but by a skilled pain management doctor. Injections like cortisone can cut down on inflammation, which in turn, decreases pain.
If none of the above treatment options work for you and your symptoms persist or worsen, surgery may be the best path.
Generally, surgery for this condition will be endoscopic or open. In endoscopic surgery, a small telescope-like device is inserted through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to perform the operation in the least invasive manner. With open surgery, an bigger incision must be made and the surgeon must cut through ligament to solve the problem.
Thomas Cohn, MD
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