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Relieve Wrist Pain Without Medicine or Surgery
Preventing the pain and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome starts with understanding the cause of the symptoms. Symptoms of carpal tunnel inflammation can be relieved with the application of heat and cold, wearing wrist braces, and avoiding repetitive movements. Making good use of preventative measures and natural treatments helps to prevent more extreme measures, such as surgery.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of inflammation in the wrist. The carpal ligament and bones in the wrist form a tunnel through which tendons and the median nerve must pass. Wrist or hand movements cause the tendons to rub against the inside of the carpal tunnel. When these movements are made repetitively, as happens with an assembly line worker or typist, it can cause that area of the carpal tunnel to become irritated. The irritation of the ligaments in the wrist result in inflammation, which presses the tendons and the median nerve together.
The median nerve in the hand provides sensation to the palm of the hand, to the thumb, and to all the fingers except the little finger. When the median nerve is compressed, the result can be tingling or numbness in those areas, as well as pain in the wrist itself. Pain can be mild to severe, and can range anywhere from the hand all the way up to the shoulder.
Wearing Wrist Braces for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain
Using Carpal Tunnel Wrist Braces can not only reduce symptoms, it can also prevent symptoms. The brace forces the wrist to remain immobilized in a position that reduces impact on the ligaments. Wearing the brace during repetitive movements prevents the movements from irritating the carpal tunnel. In addition, wearing the wrist brace at night can prevent symptoms from occurring due to inadvertent wrist flexing during sleep.
Applying Hot and Cold Compresses to Reduce Wrist Swelling
Alternating hot compresses with cold compresses several times per day can help to reduce the swelling inside the wrist that occurs with carpal tunnel syndrome. For a hot compress that does not burn the skin, put a wet towel in the dryer until it is hot but not completely dry, and wrap it around the affected wrist. Cold compresses should be wrapped in a towel to ensure that ice or cold packs do not come in direct contact with the skin.
Resting the Wrist to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Swelling
Wrist strain, and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, benefit from rest. Avoiding the activities that result in wrist pain will go a long way toward alleviating symptoms and preventing further pain and numbness. When the activity can not be completely avoided, frequent rest periods are also beneficial.
Carpal tunnel syndrome should be monitored by a physician, but there are natural means of minimizing symptoms. Wrist braces, hot and cold compresses, and rest are all simple ways to reduce pain and swelling, as well as numbness and tingling, without medication or surgery.