Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
How a Brace Can Help Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can cause pain, tingling and numbness in the hand and arm. This condition occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the arm, forearm and wrist, becomes entrapped or pinched. Many people in the U.S. suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there are a few things you can do under the guidance of your Houston orthopedic physician to manage the pain.
A wrist splint (or brace) is an excellent short-term therapy for many people with carpal tunnel syndrome. They are easy to put on and take off, and can provide immediate relief and stability when needed. A brace may be right for your carpal tunnel syndrome if you meet the following conditions. However, talk to your Houston orthopedic doctor to be sure.
- You have mild to moderate CTS symptoms.
- Symptoms are worse at night.
- You would like to try a non-invasive therapy before considering steroid injections or surgery.
- You are able and willing to continue exercising and strengthening your wrist to prevent muscles from tensing and weakening.
When Can I Wear a Carpal Tunnel Brace?
A brace may be worn when you sleep, so that the wrist remains in a neutral position throughout the night. A brace can also be helpful when you are at work (or any time you are engaged in an activity that can cause CTS pain). However, the use of a brace is not a substitute for healthy, ergonomic habits.
Lastly, a CTS brace may be helpful any time you experience symptoms of CTS pain. However, be aware that overreliance on the brace can result in weakened muscles. Talk with your physician to develop guidelines for use that are specific to your situation.
Carpal Tunnel Prevention Tips
If you are at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, be sure you are taking good preventative care of your hands and wrists.
- Take regular breaks from repetitive work.
- Loosen up your grip.
- Type in a relaxed position.
- Practice good posture.
- Keep your hands and fingers warm.
Schedule With a Houston Orthopedic Doctor
For more information or to schedule an appointment about carpal tunnel syndrome, contact Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. In addition to injections and non-invasive therapies, providers offer endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, which may offer a shorter recovery period. Call (713) 756-5546, or schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.