Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is far more common than you might think. As a result there is now a wide range of treatments available to help relieve and remove the pain and discomfort associated with this debilitating condition.
You would be surprised at how many people encounter Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at some point in their lives. Around 1 in every 25 of us suffer from this condition so there are a lot of us Carpal Tunnel sufferers around. It may be you … or it may be your wife, husband or partner.
The important thing is don’t panic. There are many ways of treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – and getting your hands back to normal – without having to resort to surgery.
The first thing you probably notice is a sudden loss of feeling or numbness in your hand … together with a tingling in the fingers. Now, it is quite normal to have occasional twinges in the hand or wrist … and not every painful twinge implies carpal tunnel syndrome. Injuries to the hand or wrist are quite common.
Sometimes, symptoms develop quickly – the result of a trauma or injury. Sometimes the symptoms develop slowly over a period of time, often with us only gradually becoming aware that something isn’t quite right.
If there is only mild discomfort, you can ease the pain by taking more frequent breaks to rest your hands, avoiding activities that worsen symptoms and applying cold packs or icing to reduce any occasional swelling.
See our article on First Steps for more information on simple home remedies for easing the pain.
A review of different treatments:
Conventional treatments: oral analgesics, topical analgesics such as creams and gels, wrist splints and braces – usually worn at night while sleeping – steroid injections … and ultimately surgery. This is the conventional approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome – an approach that has been instilled into the minds of many in the medical profession . Yet there is increasing evidence that this approach simply doesn’t work. See the Article by Dr David Williams on this subject.
Experts now agree that, given the poor outcomes associated with conventional treatments, natural therapies are a much better way to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. See here for more information.
Professional treatments: there are many different treatments now available from therapists and other healthcare professionals. Some of these use well established healing techniques, which have been brought up to date. Others are techniques that are based on the latest medical research and use different parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum to stimulate the healing process deep under the skin.
Most of these treatments are administered – at least initially – by doctors and therapists in hospitals and medical centers, which have access to the most modern medical equipment. These treatments include:
- acupuncture and acupressure
- chiropractic treatment
- exercises with a physiotherapist
- infrared treatment
- light therapy
- low level lasers
- TENS and EMS
- trigger point therapy
Alternative and natural treatments: nowadays, it is possible to administer most – if not all – of the above treatments at home. Although it is often advisable to start off with a few sessions with a therapist, who understands the capabilities of the treatment you have chosen, it is usually quite easy to move to self-administration in your own home.
For example, there is now a wide range of equipment that allows you to self-administer different kinds of electrotherapy (TENS, EMS etc) as well as infrared, low level laser and deep light therapy treatment at home. Some of this equipment has, until recently, only been available through a trained therapist. However, more and more of this equipment is being approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) for home use.
Natural home remedies: these are the more traditional home remedies such as herbal medicines, natural essential oils etc that can be used in conjunction with – and complement – other treatments. These remedies include supplements, vitamins and food additives that are proven to be effective in treating the symptoms – and underlying causes – of carpal tunnel syndrome and similar disorders.
Many of these treatments can be used in combination with, and to complement, each other.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome