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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (cont.)

Treatment Overview

The goal of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is to allow you to return to your normal function and activities and to prevent nerve damage and loss of muscle strength in your fingers and hand.

Treatment options include:

  • Home treatment, such as changing or avoiding activities that may be causing symptoms and wearing a wrist splint.
  • Physical therapy. This includes ultrasound, stretching, and range-of-motion exercises. In some clinics, these therapies may be done by an occupational therapist.
  • Medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. In some cases, oral corticosteroids or corticosteroid injections into the carpal tunnel may be considered.
  • Surgery. Surgery is sometimes recommended when other treatment hasn't helped, if you've had carpal tunnel syndrome for a long time, or if there is nerve damage or the risk of nerve damage.
Click here to view a Decision Point.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Should I Have Surgery?

What to think about

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is based on the seriousness of the condition, whether there is any nerve damage, and whether other treatment has helped. If your symptoms are mild, 1 to 2 weeks of home treatment are likely to relieve your symptoms.

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