Get Relief From Your Hand And Wrist Pain

Health & Medical Blog

Your hand and fingers begin to feel numb after working for several hours. Sometimes your hand feels weak and it's even hard to hold onto your cup of coffee. These are some of the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve problem that starts at your wrist. Here is what you need to know about this injury and how your doctor can help with the pain and numbness. 

The Source of Your Pain

The median nerve runs down your arm, through your wrist and into your hand. It travels through a narrow opening made by the bones in your wrist. A light tissue sheath covers the nerve. The opening in the wrist is designed to protect the nerve. But it can become the source of irritation.

If you have any degeneration of the bones in your wrist, the opening may begin to rub on the nerve. This irritation causes inflammation of the nerve and the tissue sheath. The inflammation causes your pain and numbness. When the inflammation is severe you'll lose sensation in your hand and be unable to grasp items.

Other sources of irritation of the median nerve include:

  • Repetitive motion injuries in which a person works with their hands and wrists in the same way for hours causing irritation of the nerve.
  • Pinching of the nerve caused by improper position of the wrists on a desk, such as when typing or writing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Your doctor will initially recommend several non-invasive approaches to reducing the inflammation of the nerve and subsequent pain and weakness in your wrist and hand.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs - These reduce the swelling in the nerve so it will travel smoothly through your wrist without irritation.
  • Physical therapy - Strengthening the muscles in your wrist will support it better and reduce the repetitive motion and pressure issues causing nerve irritation.
  • Wrist supports - These hold the wrist in a natural position to prevent movement of and pressure on the median nerve.
  • Steroid injections - As a short term solution, steroids may be injected into the wrist to reduce inflammation and pain.

Should these treatments not give you enough relief, more invasive treatments can be offered such as:

  • Surgical enlargement of the tunnel through which the nerve travels.
  • Reconstruction of the tunnel when wearing down of the bone, due to osteoarthritis, has narrowed the tunnel or created rough bone edges that rub against the nerve.

Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Recovery from severe pain and numbness from carpal tunnel syndrome can take several weeks. At the first sign of soreness, see your doctor (such as one from Hand Rehabilitation Specialists) for an evaluation. They can make recommendations on how to prevent the injury from occurring in the first place. Some of the suggestions include:

  • Taking frequent breaks and exercising your hands and wrists when working.
  • Keeping your hands warm before and while working to increase the circulation in those areas.
  • Using wrist supports to prevent the nerve from being pinched or pushed against by a desk or table top.


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