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How do you treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most well-known and common repetitive stress injuries. It can affect your hand, wrist and fingers, making it difficult to do your job and live your day-to-day life.

If you've been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, such as the result of overuse of your hands in the workplace, your medical team will work with you to implement a treatment plan.

Most doctors first attempt to treat carpal tunnel syndrome through nonsurgical methods, such as:

  • Wearing a wrist splint, especially during the nighttime hours and while your hand is in use
  • Corticosteroids
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Along with the above, extended rest may be necessary to eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

If nonsurgical treatment doesn't deliver the desired results, surgery may be necessary. The goal is to relieve pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament pressing on it.

There are two types of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Open surgery, which requires your surgeon to make an incision in your hand to access the ligament and nerve
  • Endoscopic surgery, which allows your surgeon to enter and view your carpal tunnel without a bigger incision

If you suspect carpal tunnel syndrome, visit your primary care physician to discuss your concerns. They can then refer you to a specialist who can examine your carpal tunnel, discuss your symptoms and help you decide on the best course of action.

Depending on your doctor's advice and treatment plan, you may need to spend time away from work. This should lead you to learn more about workers' compensation benefits, with a focus on whether or not you're eligible to receive payouts.

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