Treating with cold and vibrationtam odin/Shutterstock
You’ve probably heard about icing the inflamed area for carpal tunnel treatment, but Baxter warns that this stiffens muscles and tendons and slows the blood flow. Try massaging the area following icing to stimulate the flow of blood, Dr. Baxter. The massage “keeps the muscle fibers supple,” he says, “so the re-injury damage of moving fibers that are trying to stick together to decrease movement is minimized and ice is more tolerable.” These everyday movements are causing you joint pain.
The simplest carpal tunnel treatment is to rest your fingers, hand, and wrist. Stop activities that you think may be causing numbness and pain. When symptoms improve, the activity can be resumed gradually. Houston Methodist orthopedic surgeon Shari Liberman, MD, suggests that patients evaluate their home and work space ergonomics to identify issues that could be contributing to their symptoms. “Changes at the office that might help relieve symptoms include switching to an ergonomic keyboard or mouse, changing the position of keyboard and mouse to allow the wrists to be a neutral position, or using a padded rest for the wrist,” she says. “At home, patients could take breaks from repetitive tasks to stretch and move their hands and wrists.”
Simple wrist exercises can be done anytime throughout the day, whether you’re at your desk at work or waiting in line at the store. Healthline suggests making a fist and then slide your fingers until they are straight again, repeat the action five to 10 times, to help relieve any pressure on the wrist. If you have issues with fluid retention from pregnancy or fractures, get into the habit of elevating your hands and wrists whenever possible. These are secrets your pain doctor isn’t telling you.