8 Self-Care Tips for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Diana Rodriguez on November 17, 2020
  • hands-typing-on-keyboard
    Carpal Tunnel Home Treatment to Manage Your Symptoms
    The way you use your hands can worsen symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Typing, sewing or just doing your job can make pain worse. It's important to practice self-care for carpal tunnel syndrome daily to manage your symptoms and protect your wrists. These eight self-care tips for carpal tunnel home treatment can help you find relief.
  • smiling-woman-in-office-taking-coffee-break
    1. Take breaks.
    Your wrists can hurt from working them too long. Take breaks often—at work and at home. If you work at a computer or on an assembly line, it's particularly important to rest your wrists often. Try to set an alarm for about every 15 minutes to remind yourself to give your wrists a rest. Stop doing the same activity you were doing. Take a few minutes to stretch your wrists.
  • man-in-office-cubicle-stretching-hand
    2. Give your wrists a workout.
    Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there's pressure on a nerve in your wrist. You may feel pain, tingling or other symptoms. When you keep doing the same activity over and over again, your symptoms can get worse. So, during your frequent breaks, gently stretch your wrists. Turn your hands around in circles to help stretch them. Stretch your fingers and the palms of your hands. Make a fist, then stretch and spread your fingers.
  • hand-brace
    3. Wear a wrist brace.
    Keeping your wrists still and straight eases pressure on them. You can wear a brace or splint to keep your wrists in the right position. Try to wear a splint at work if you have to do activities that put a lot of stress on your wrists. You can also sleep in a splint at night. Fasten the strap on the splint so that it fits without slipping. Make sure it's not too tight. Also, try not to sleep on your hands.
  • employees-talking-in-meeting
    4. Change it up at work.
    It might be hard for you to do your job if you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Find out if there are ways to make work easier by making some changes. Talk to your manager. There might be things your employer could do to make the work or your work station less stressful on your wrist joints. Perhaps you could rotate through several different jobs. Or, you might need to ask about trying a different job.
  • physical-therapist-holding-patients-arm
    5. Work with a physical therapist.
    You can't always avoid work and tasks at home that bother your wrists. But you can learn ways to reduce the stress on them. Find a physical therapist to help you. A physical therapist can show you small changes you can make at home and work. You can change how and where you sit at work. You can also change your movements and positioning of your wrists. These changes ease the stress on your wrists. They'll help your carpal tunnel symptoms.
  • Medication Over The Counter
    6. Soothe inflammation and relieve pain.
    Over-the-counter medicines can give some relief from pain and tingling in your wrists. Try taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs can ease pain and inflammation in your wrists. You can also put ice packs on your wrists when they hurt.
  • Woman in Warrior Yoga Pose
    7. Practice yoga.
    Yoga helps ease stress and strengthen muscles. It can help the muscles in your hands and wrists get stronger. It's also a good way to stretch those wrist muscles. You may find that yoga helps reduce some of your carpal tunnel symptoms. It may also make it easier for you to grasp objects if your grip is weak.
  • General Practitioner examining patients hand
    8. See your doctor.
    Don't ignore the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. See your doctor if your symptoms make it difficult for you to sleep, work or do tasks at home. See your doctor if you have pain, tingling or numbness in your wrists that doesn't go away. Not getting treatment can cause your symptoms to get worse over time. The muscles and nerves in your wrist could be injured permanently if you don't treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.
8 Self-Care Tips for Carpal Tunnel Home Treatment
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About The Author

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm
  2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20030332
  3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00005
  4. 3 Steps to Fight Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/07/3-steps-to-fight-your-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/
  5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/life-stages/work/carpal-tunnel-relief.php 

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Last Review Date: 2020 Nov 17
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