While carpal tunnel can affect people of all ages, the majority of carpal tunnel sufferers are 40 and older, especially if you already suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of carpal tunnel include wrist pain, finger and hand numbness, hand weakness, and pain in the arm between the wrist and shoulder. These symptoms can be so severe that many suffering from carpal tunnel are unable to perform everyday tasks, such as typing, writing, or even driving.
Unfortunately if left untreated, for most people dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, the pain often increases with each passing year rather than decreasing.
For those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, here are 9 ways to help relieve the pain and discomfort:
1. See a Specialist
If you believe you having carpal tunnel, visit a pain managements specialist. Pain Management Doctors in Pennsylvania, and others of the like, can help diagnose your pain, which can help you understand how to manage it effectively. Pain specialists can educate you on what the next steps look like for you in terms of pain management. In most cases, these pain management centers are seeking to help you find permanent relief from your pain through holistic medicine approaches, psychological approaches, and physical therapy.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel, it is likely your carpal tunnel is due to unmanaged rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. For many, once their rheumatoid arthritis is under control, they find their carpal tunnel symptoms have diminished or disappeared all together. The reason behind this is that the inflammation that happens because of arthritis actually causes carpal tunnel. Once the inflammation has decreased, the carpal tunnel symptoms should also decrease.
When dealing with carpal tunnel, one of the best ways to deal with the pain is to rest. If there are any activities you do that exacerbate the pain, such as tennis, golf, or typing and writing, try to avoid participating in these activities for a couple of weeks. While it can be difficult to avoid these activities all together, especially if you work in an office environment, the more you can avoid them, the better chance you have at giving your inflamed tissue a chance to heal.
4. Wrist Splint
Wearing a supportive wrist splint can help ease your symptoms, as it can keep you hands from clenching or growing tense. The added support can reduce swelling, giving the blood a chance to flow through your joints freely.
Carpal tunnel can actually stem from a spinal issue, as the spine can affect how the muscles interact with each other. Poor posture can exacerbate carpal tunnel pain, for the strain poor posture puts on your neck and shoulder muscles can actually inflame the wrists, hands, and fingers, leading to severe carpal tunnel pain. When sitting down, focus on sitting with proper posture, as you can help relieve some of the stress and tension on your muscles.
Those suffering with severe carpal tunnel syndrome can find that night is one of the most painful times of the day. Many unintentionally clench their hands and shoulders during the night, and the inability to relax can cause severe pain, making sleep elusive. In order to reduce swelling during the night, try to sleep with your hands elevated. While it can feel awkward at first, it can help reduce the swelling immensely and help you sleep better.
Similarly to an injury that has swelled, icing your wrists can help ease discomfort temporarily. Try icing 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for relief, as ice can reduce swelling and inflammation.
8. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can actually aggravate carpal tunnel, as smoking constricts the blood vessels of the hand. The more constricted they are, the more inflamed the wrists are, as there is not enough blood able to flow to those joints. Moreover, smoking can lead to heart and lung issues, which can also intensify pain.
There are various stretches that can help ease carpal tunnel syndromes, as they can open up the muscles, increasing the body’s blood flow. Stretches strengthening the back, shoulders, neck, and wrists can greatly improve carpal tunnel symptoms.
These 9 tips can help keep your blood flowing, thereby reducing your carpal tunnel pain.
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