Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is a condition of the hand, which causes pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling sensation. This happens when there’s excessive pressure on the median nerve, running along the arm, through the carpal tunnel passage of the wrist and controlling the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.
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Treatments of carpal tunnel
The earlier carpal tunnel syndrome is detected, the easier it will be to relieve the symptoms of the condition. Depending on the stage at which the condition is detected, one needs surgical or non-surgical treatment methods that may involve the following:
If detected early, the following non-surgical methods can work:
- Wrist splinting
- NSAID medicines
- Topical pain ointments
- Rest and self-care
- Physical therapy
In case the condition gets severe, the following surgeries may be required:
- Endoscopic surgery
- Open surgery
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Wrist Splinting for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In this method, the patient has to wear a brace that resembles a glove without fingers. It helps to stabilize the wrist by keeping it straight and bending it slightly to the back sometimes. It can provide rest to the wrist and minimize the pressure that the median nerve undergoes. The brace is called wrist splint and can be purchased with or without a prescription.
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NSAIDs for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
NSAIDs, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can help reduce the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Medicines like ibuprofen can relieve the pain within a short period and are available over the counter. But it’s better to consult the doctor first. However, there’s no proof that these oral medicines can improve the condition.
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Corticosteroids for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When splinting or NSAID is not effective or applicable, doctors recommend injecting Corticosteroid solutions into the connective tissues near the carpal tunnel. It helps reduce tissue swelling and release the pressure created on the median nerve. Tests have proven their effectiveness in helping with carpal tunnel syndrome. Corticosteroid tablets taken orally are less effective.
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Topical Ointment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If carpal tunnel syndrome causes a lot of pain, then using a pain relief ointment, which is applied topically, can be helpful in relieving the pain. Menthol analgesic gel ointments are known to be quite effective. Studies show that they can alleviate 31% of the pain. These ointments are available at drug stores without prescription and can be quick with their effect.
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Icing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
An easy way to relieve the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is by applying ice. The patient can either put it on the wrist in the form of an ice pack or can soak the wrist in ice for an ice bath. It needs to be done for around 10-15 minutes every hour, at least. This treatment method at home is particularly helpful in the early stages of the condition.
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Rest and Self-care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
To help soothe the pain and prevent it from getting worse, rest and care are essential. For that, it is important to take breaks from work involving hand usage and to stay away from heavy-impact tasks. Activities that require too much flexing in either direction are a no-no. Wearing gloves to keep the hand warm, and elevating the hand can also help.
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Physical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
An effective non-surgical method of dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome is through physical therapy. This method involves exercises and stretches, such as bending, stretching, lifting, squeezes, weight stretches, etc., to help relieve the condition. These are simple exercises that can be performed by a patient, anytime and anywhere.
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Endoscopic Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Endoscopic surgery is a surgical method in which only a small incision is made in the palm to complete the procedure. In this surgery, the pressure that the median nerve has to undergo is released by cutting the transverse carpal ligament. It results in relieving the symptoms of the condition. The patient can go home on the very same day.
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Open Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In this technique, an incision made is below the palm at its base. It is large enough for the surgeon to be able to view the transverse carpal ligament, which he cuts to release the pressure upon the median nerve. Thus, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are relieved. Usually, the patient is allowed to go home on the day of the surgery itself.
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CBD for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What Studies are Saying
The primary symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain and inflammation. CBD, consumed in different forms, is known to relieve both. Several studies have proven its effectiveness in both. So, it can be concluded that CBD is a viable treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Studies have also suggested that CBD is a novel approach to pain management. Medical practitioners are concerned with the effects of NSAIDs on the health of a patient. Chances of misusing such drugs is also a matter of concern. So, CBD is considered a safer alternative.
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There are multiple ways of using CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome to manage pain and inflammation. CBD in the form of oil, cream, and salve can be applied topically on the wrist. Tincture and capsules can be consumed orally. Vaping CBD oil is another effective method of consumption.
Find out more about the ways of consuming CBD oil for carpal tunnel syndrome here.