Insight Pain Management – Do you experience tingling and numbness in your fingers, hand weakness, and persistent pain that radiates from your hand to your arm? If so, you may have a common nerve condition called carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve in the wrist endures excessive pressure. Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect one or both hands and is usually linked to repetitive use of the hands and fingers in work activities, sports, and hobbies such as knitting. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you are not alone. As many as 10 million Americans are affected by this condition and it is one of the leading causes of lost time at work in the United States. Fortunately, once carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, there are many lifestyle measures and treatments that are effective at managing pain and preventing the need for surgery. From exercises and splinting to over the counter pain medications, here are six tips to consider that will help you control pain and reduce carpal tunnel strain on your wrists and arms.
Ice and HeatWhen used together, ice and heat therapy is one of the most effective ways to control pain and stiffness caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Applying cold to the wrist numbs pain and constricts blood vessels that cause swelling and pressure on the median nerve. Place a cold pack from the freezer or a bag of ice between a towel to prevent damaging your skin and hold it at the base of your hand for up to 20 minutes at a time. Soaking the hand in an ice bath for about 10 minutes is also a simple method to relieve pain that many patients find worthwhile. Heat is another effective treatment option. Not only does it increase blood flow and relax tense muscles, but pain management specialists believe heat therapy may help restore damaged tissues over time and provide long term results for carpal tunnel pain. For fast results, simply place a heating pad or towel over the hand and wrist area at a comfortable temperature.
Wrist SplintsIf you struggle with carpal tunnel symptoms throughout the day or while you work, consider wearing a wrist splint. Keeping the wrist in a straight position is one of the best ways to alleviate pressure on the median nerve that is causing discomfort. A good splint or brace will limit the wrist’s movement and prevent additional strain. It is important to choose a splint that fits properly and does not cut off circulation. The brace should have components made of plastic or metal that will keep the wrist in place. Also look for a brace with adequate padding that is comfortable and allows you to move your fingers and thumb with ease.
ExercisesAnother great way to achieve relief and strengthen your wrists is to perform simple stretches and exercises throughout the day. Whether you’re sitting at your desk, waiting in line, or watching television, dedicating just a few minutes can make a big difference – especially when you are performing repetitive tasks. In addition to exercises, lifting small weights can help you strengthen your hands and arms while also stimulating normal blood circulation in the extremities. For more information on safe and effective stretches to manage carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests a series of therapeutic exercises. Because each patient’s symptoms are different, it is important to work with your physician and physical therapist to develop a treatment plan with exercises that are safe and will keep your condition from worsening.
Pain RelieversIf you are experiencing pain from carpal tunnel syndrome that is impacting your daily activities and quality of life, over the counter medications may be helpful. Choose a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Although these medications will not cure carpal tunnel syndrome, they provide safe and effective symptom relief for most patients. Topical pain medications that contain menthol may also provide temporary carpal tunnel pain relief. Popular products such as Aspercreme and Biofreeze can be applied to the affected area throughout the day to reduce discomfort. Similar to ice treatments, topical menthol products provide a soothing, cooling sensation that is fast-acting and convenient.
InjectionsIf conservative carpal tunnel treatments are not producing meaningful results, steroid injections may be an effective option. Steroid injections are performed by a physician and placed in the carpal tunnel to reduce swelling and pressure on the median nerve. Like most injections, steroid treatments may come with some side effects and should be monitored. If you choose carpal tunnel injections to manage pain, they may need to be repeated to increase effectiveness. However, injections are successful for most people. A study in the American Association for Hand Surgery’s journal HAND found more than 60% of patients gained effective long-term treatment from primary local corticosteroid injections, avoiding the potential complications of surgery.
RestAlthough it may seem simple, rest is something many patients overlook when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome. Not only is rest an important factor in preventing symptoms, but it also plays a key role in managing complications and pain. Symptoms are often triggered by repetitive tasks. When you find yourself repeating certain movements, such as typing or using a tool, take a break in a series of intervals to avoid straining your hand and wrist. If you forget to take breaks while completing a task, set a timer to stretch your hands, move your wrists, and get blood flowing in your arms. In between periods of rest, try to keep your wrists in a neutral position whenever possible and avoid flexing, which puts additional strain on the median nerve. Numbness, tingling, and wrist pain from carpal tunnel syndrome can be aggravating. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to surgery that are simple and effective. If you are suffering from these symptoms and think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, pain management specialists at Insight can evaluate and treat your symptoms. Contact us today at 810-275-9333 in Flint or 312-567-2000 in Chicago for more information and to schedule an appointment.
17:45 27 Oct 22
My visit here today was nothing short of amazing. From the moment I walked in and was greeted by Ms Pearl at the front desk, who greeted me with warmth that reminded me of my grandmother of whom I miss dearly, until I walked out. Ms. Pearl directed me to Central Registration where I was registered in by Denise Martinez who was very pleasant and very kind. She, along with Chandra Gibson helped and both went above and beyond to inform me that I had a secondary insurance which I was unaware of(thanks ladies). Ms Denise Martinez directed me to the surgery clinic where my appointment was and I was greeted with a smile. My nurse, Ricky was also kind, warm and very patient. My wait for the doctor after Ricky took my vitals was less than 5 minutes, not long at all. Dr Ahmad Elakil’s bedside manner was the best. He was very attentive and very detailed about the next steps concerning my health and his positive energy engulfed the room. Last but certainly not least, Lori checked me out and she also greeted me with warmth and kindness. She scheduled my next visits for me and made sure everything was correct in the system before I walked out the door. Overall, my experience with this hospital has so far been positive. I honestly have nothing negative to say. Everyone’s opinion is different based on their experience and this is mine.
12:35 16 Oct 22
I have been in physical therapy at Insight Hospital for the last 7 weeks; recovering from spinal fusion surgery.My PT therapist Mary has made my experience awesome and amazing. When I arrived I was in a wheelchair, unable to stand and in tremendous pain. My goal was to turnaround and go home and give up! It seemed too much for me to conceive that I could meet the demands of PT- it hurt too much and was intimidating.However, Mary was instrumental in changing my entire outlook with patience, understanding and knowledge of her craft. Immediately she became my biggest advocate as she encouraged me to think outside of the pain and circumstance, as well as ways to push through it. Mary designed a plan for me to be successful and helped me to realize I could do the exercises and get better. Also, helping me to realize that truly I am stronger than I think.Today, I am walking with minimal aid and optimistic about my outcome in recovery.The physical therapy department is very clean and organized with the appropriate equipment for sessions. Mary has a very structured program that she specifically designs per individual.I highly recommend Insight Hospital Therapy department for your rehabilitation and well being.My overall experience from entering the building to exiting; was always warm, friendly and safe.
00:28 15 Oct 22
Nurse Taylor is so wonderful taking care of my brother in law staying at this Insight Hospital Center! She is very knowledgeable and empathetic towards her patient my brother in law.My brother in law definitely agrees with review! Thus far it has been a wonderful experience at Insight Emergency Room! It was a long wait more like 8 hours to get a room in the hospital! Look on the bright side! My brother in law is grateful to staff , nurses and doctors! God Bless
19:30 05 Oct 22
I have been going to Insight since July for a dislocated knee and I have been pleased with not only the high level of service, but also the high level of respect that I receive. No one is too busy to help. From the moment I set foot into the building I am greeted with a smile. The women at the front desk are so nice and courteous. Registration has some of the most awesome people working there. From day one they have made sure I was checked in for my appointments, asked how my day was going and even wheeled me to a few of my appointments to make sure I got there ok. In my opinion I would give them a raise for the high standard of service they provide on a consistent basis. The Orthopedic Surgery Department has awesome top notch staff that cares and are never to busy to answer any questions I may have. My Orthopedic Surgeon is one of the best. Physical Therapy has staff that are devoted to seeing an individual improve and get better. My Physical Therapist takes time to ensure that I am performing my exercises correctly and gives me recommendations on how to better improve my mobility during my surgical recovery process. All in all, I am glad that Insight is my hospital.
14:02 29 Jul 22
I could not have asked for better care. Every member of the hospital that we encountered was polite, professional and compassionate. They answered all of our questions. My wife said that in addition to the staff being outstanding, the facility is very peaceful and comforting.In particular, Abdullah was exceptional. He treated my family and I extremely well, answered all our questions thoroughly, and put a smile on our faces.Couldn’t recommend Insight more!