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Tips for Managing Carpal Tunnel Pain

Tips for Managing Carpal Tunnel Pain

Your hands and wrists are amazing. When you consider the control and precision required of your fingers, hands, and wrists for even the simplest tasks, you may be surprised. It isn’t something we think about under normal circumstances, but if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be forced to begin thinking about how your wrists and hands work so that you can deal with the pain. 

At Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates, our team of highly skilled and trained providers offer services to people who live with pain from arthritisscoliosisspinal stenosis, and many other conditions. We understand that managing pain is a challenge, and if your job involves using your hands and wrists, carpal tunnel pain can be particularly difficult. Here, we offer a few tips that may be helpful. 

The cause of carpal tunnel pain

Before we get to the tips on managing carpal tunnel pain, we need to talk about why so many people have it. A big nerve, called the median nerve, runs from your forearm, through the bones of your wrist, to your hands. 

Some other nerves are involved, but the median nerve is the main reason you have feeling in part of your thumb, as well as your index, middle, and ring fingers, and it controls some of the muscles in the base of your thumb. 

The part of your wrist through which the median nerve passes is called the carpal tunnel, and the tendons that allow you to bend your fingers pass through the carpal tunnel, too. Depending on your bone structure, the carpal tunnel can be narrower or roomier from the beginning, but some things can make it narrow to the point that the tissues press on your median nerve and cause the discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. 

For example, if you’ve broken your wrist, you’re at a greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Conditions, like arthritis, that cause inflammation raise your risk, and overuse injuries are a common risk factor. 

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Although we often discuss the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome, it can also be described as a feeling of pins and needles or numbness. In most instances, the symptoms develop slowly over time, progressing from numbness to pain. You may also find that you wake up in the night sometimes with tingling hands or wrists. 

Most often, a person’s dominant hand shows symptoms first. Another common complaint is a weakness in your hands that makes some tasks more difficult. Eventually, you may not be able to tell if something is hot or cold by touch. 

Managing your symptoms

If you’re having symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you should make an appointment for evaluation. Understanding the cause of your symptoms and getting treatment from a medical professional is crucial. However, you can do some things to manage your symptoms either before your appointment or if you already know you have carpal tunnel syndrome. 


Use ice to reduce swelling and inflammation. This may reduce the pressure on your median nerve temporarily and give you some pain relief. 


Gently stretching and rotating your wrists and fingers may help ease the pain. In some cases, certain hand exercises may be part of your treatment plan. 


If you suspect repetitive motion could be part of the problem, or if your hands hurt while you’re working, take breaks frequently. Even short rests can help. 

Your doctor can offer more specific and targeted treatments. Often treatment plans for carpal tunnel syndrome include the use of a splint to immobilize your wrist, medications, or physical therapy to help you regain strength in your wrist and hands. 

The most appropriate treatment depends on a host of factors that vary from person-to-person. Your family history, medical history, and the kind of work you do are all things your doctor considers in putting together a treatment plan for you. 

If you’re experiencing tingling, numbness, or pain in your wrists or hands, schedule an appointment at Dr. Louis Keppler and Associates today. 

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