The Carpal Tunnel Healing Measures
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common neurological disorder for majority of the workers whose jobs involved prolonged repetitive hand and wrist movements. The carpal tunnel healing duration depends on which healing measures you opt to do.
Students, writers to office workers, many of these individuals experience signs and symptoms of the nerve compression on the wrist. The severity of the compression of course varies among different individuals and the choice of treatment depends on the patient’s age, medication tolerance and severity of the syndrome itself.
There is no absolute and complete carpal tunnel healing; instead there are only protective procedures that we do for the affected nerve, the median nerve. This nerve supplies the sensory and motor functions of our hand. Once this is affected certain restrictions on hand function and an uncomfortable sensation such as pain is being experienced by an individual.
Protective Carpal Tunnel Healing Measures
There are measures that we do in order to have a fast carpal tunnel healing process. This may take few weeks or few months, but the most important thing is they address the concerns for sufferers. These concerns include the pain, numbness and tingling sensation felt. Some hand function limitations may also be experienced. If the treatment being used is ineffective, atrophies and further debilitation on hand function are possible.
We all know that different individuals may present with symptoms that differ in severity but it is most important that these symptoms are addressed and treated accordingly. The root of the problem is nerve compression thus carpal tunnel healing involves primarily on the median nerve recuperating from tunnel compression.
To promote carpal tunnel healing the first step that you should take is resting your wrist. This can be achieved by using wrist splints. The splints function to limit wrist motions that can worsen the condition. Since patients in acute phase experience nocturnal wrist pain, the wrist splints are advised to be used at night though this is also worn in the daytime if daily activities trigger the pain.
The wrist movements that must be avoided are hyperflexion and hyperextension which both can irritate the inflamed nerves within the carpal tunnel. The flexor retinaculum is the ligament that makes up the carpal tunnel and the wrist splint acts as a stabilizer of the wrist.
Resting your wrist may not be only limited to wrist splints. If you have a mild syndrome, extreme motions of the wrist that can trigger the symptoms must be avoided. The symptoms that you may feel are pain, tingling sensations and numbness of the thumb, index, middle and radial half the ring fingers. In chronic cases, a carpal tunnel syndrome patient may experience thumb muscle wasting or atrophy of thenar muscles or the thumb muscles.
If you are taking carpal tunnel healing measures, complications are prevented. Treatments aim to lessen the pain, tingling sensations and numbness. They also aim to regain or preserve hand functions by maintaining the hand muscle strength, especially the grip strength that can be greatly affected by this condition.
Application of moist heat can help in decreasing the pain felt by the patient. In addition, cryotherapy or ice application do aid in decreasing the inflammation. These are measures done in physical therapy; ultrasound and TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) applications to control the pain.
Exercises, such as stretching and strengthening exercise, may be contraindicated during the acute phase but these exercises play an important role in keeping the ability of the hand to function during and after carpal tunnel healing process occur. Certain exercises are taught in the acute or sub-acute phases when the pain has already subsided to a more tolerable level.
Ergonomics is important in the healing of CTS. Adjusting your working area especially if your work requires you to do prolonged typing on a computer keyboard is important. You must position the wrist in a more comfortable manner which ensures that the compression of the median nerve on the volar aspect of the wrist is being avoided.
The carpal tunnel syndrome also affects some musicians. The most commonly affected musicians are those who use wrist motions during their performance such as the pianists.
Some people do take additional vitamins to aid in the carpal tunnel healing to help in the recovery of the nerve affected. Vitamins B6 and B complex are important vitamin supplements for the healing nerves.
Diet changes in are also important. These include less use of salt in the diet and well-balanced meals. Foods that can be healthy for you in this purpose are chicken, fish and celery. These foods can help in your healing process.
Medications to control the pain and inflammation also are used during the carpal tunnel healing process. Such medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, for example naproxen, ibuprofen and celecoxib. In addition to these oral medications, corticosteroid can also be used. Corticosteroid is a localized injection into the wrist to lessen the inflammation.
The carpal tunnel healing process depends on how religiously you follow your doctor’s advice to lessen the severity of the symptoms. The more diligent you are in following these instructions the fast your recovery will be. CTS can be healed in a few weeks or it can last up to months or even years. Surgery is the last recourse if all else fails.