AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Once the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome have been diagnosed, the first stage of treatment is usually to try and change the routine which is causing the symptoms of tingling, pain and numbness in the wrist, hands and fingers.

Taking anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or having a corticosteroid injection may also be prescribed by a GP – as well as wrist supports to prevent further strain on the tendons which have become inflamed and are compressing the median nerve. Many patients buy their own wrist supports and these can cost from around ?10.? Some wrist supports may be flexible, while others will contain a metal stay which holds the wrist more securely.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome The Best Wrist Supports For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Trial and Error

Some trial and error may be involved in finding a wrist support which not only deals with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but also fits in with a patient’s activities, employment and lifestyle – and it is always advisable to seek medical advice before buying a wrist support to treat CTS symptoms.

Some patients may shy away from wrist supports because of their appearance, but at work or at home using a wrist support can help protect the median nerve from being compressed by the tendons which pass through the wrist and are bundled together with the nerve by the transverse carpel ligament.

If you imagine the median nerve and the tendons as computer cabling and the transverse carpal tunnel ligament as a cable tidy keeping them neatly together at the wrist, this gives you some idea of how the median nerve can become trapped or compressed and cause pain, tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers, especially after repetitive activities like typing or using construction equipment which causes vibration.

NHS Recommendations

The NHS has a list of recommended wrist supports and braces for carpal tunnel patients and these can range from a fairly simple fingerless wrist support to a more substantial wrist brace extending from the lower forearm to the palm and including a thumb brace.

The fingers are usually affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, so many wrist supports will provide support to the hand and knuckles – the index, middle, ring finger and the thumb can all be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other lightweight wrist braces may have a thumb brace if the thumb and fingers are affected by pain, tingling or numbness – and offer lightweight support to the hand and wrist for mild to moderate symptoms.

Wrist braces commercially available include the Donjoy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Wrist Support – a lightweight cotton/elastic support, which offers the wrist and hand extra support using an inbuilt aluminium stay.

The NHS has approved the Union Jack Wrist Support – which can be used to treat CTS as well as wrist fractures and sprains and is a slightly more on trend brace in white with red and blue Union flag stripes. Most wrist supports are either black or beige and some people find their surgical appearance off putting, but this is no being addressed buy some manufacturers.

A more robust – and also weatherproof wrist brace is the Somatex, which has a metal stay which extends the wrist to prevent pressure on the median nerve. The Somatex has adjustable Velcro straps and also provide support to the hand, leaving the fingers free. It is used for sports injuries, as well as repetitive strain injuries.

If you are unsure about which brace you need, always speak to your GP before you buy a wrist support, as choosing a flexible brace may not offer the correct support – or a more rigid wrist brace may make some symptoms worse.

Wearing a wrist support at night is also recommended by the NHS, as most people sleep with their wrists flexed and this can make the symptoms worse – patients may wake up feeling the need to stretch and flex their hands and fingers because of stiffness, tingling or numbness.

NHS Choices recommends that patients who experience CTS symptoms at night or on waking should sleep with the affected arm dangling over the side of the bed, to allow the wrist to extend and relieve pressure on the median nerve.

However, before any home or over-the-counter treatment for CTS is attempted, a GP diagnosis is essential as delaying diagnosis may lead to further symptoms or long-term nerve damage.

About Author: Leo Wyatt is a freelance writer & journalist who graduated from Birmingham University. Leo has worked for several newspapers in the midlands but now spends most of his time writing articles for companies, websites and businesses on a freelance basis. Leo also has particular interests in cars, bikes, health, safety, sports, law and politics. Leo has written this article for Hospital Complaints Claims who specialise in Negligence Complaints about the NHS.
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