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.
Nighttime splintsSajee Rod/Shutterstock
Keeping your wrists straight can help relieve the pressure on your median nerve. Symptoms are more common at night, so wearing a splint in the evening may help relieve your symptoms before they start. If you have issues with repetitive tasks at work, you can also wear wrist splints during the day. “The purpose of the splint is to keep the wrist in a neutral position keeping the tunnel open and preventing pressure on the nerve,” says Dr. Liberman. “We tend to sleep with our wrists bent, which exacerbates the symptoms. These splints can also be worn during an activity that exacerbates the symptoms.”