Did your hands wake you from sleep again? Maybe you had to sit up and shake your hands to make the numbness and pain go away. How many nights has it been since you’ve had a good night’s sleep? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by swelling around the median nerve in the wrist. This can result in numbness, tingling or pain at the hand and fingers. Usually these symptoms come and go but some activities such as sleeping with your wrists curled, driving or holding a book or phone can make them worse.
We take care of many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Some have suffered with it for days. Others have been dealing with it for years. Regardless of how long you have had it, here are some tricks to try to help relieve your numb or painful hands:
Bracing / splinting: A brace or splint on the wrist can help keep it straight and prevent the nerve from being compressed. This would be most helpful at night or during activities that typically cause symptoms.
Taking medication: Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen or Aleve can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
Activity changes: Finding different ways to perform activities that aggravate your symptoms may also help. Changing positions, tasks or patterns of hand use could make a huge difference.
If these simple tricks don’t make much difference after a few weeks, it may be time to come and visit us at Affinity Orthopedics. We’re a friendly crowd with a few tricks up our sleeves, too. We may be able to offer a steroid (cortisone) injection to the carpal tunnel or even discuss the possibility of surgery. For more information call us at 920-996-3700.