The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome typically begins conservatively in patients with mild or moderate disease. If the patient exhibits more advanced or severe carpal tunnel syndrome, or if symptoms persist in spite of conservative treatment, surgery is often considered.
Conservative treatment methods include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications – The purpose of prescribing anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil or Motrin, is to help decrease inflammation in the carpal tunnel and thereby the pressure on the nerve.
- Wrist splints – Splints are designed to help hold the wrist in a neutral position. The nerve is least compressed in this manner since the carpal tunnel is at its widest diameter in this position.
- Cortisone Injections – A cortisone injection may be the next step in carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The injection is applied directly to the area to help decrease the inflammation around the nerve itself. The cortisone injection can be effective as the medication is supplied directly to the area of the problem. Cortisone injections should be used sparingly, as repeated injections can create harm due to side effects. Most often, not more than 2 or 3 injections are given.
It should be noted, however, that although cortisone injections have been proven effective in a large percentage of patients, the resulting relief can be temporary and the symptoms may recur.