Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQ

By Julia Guthart, CHT/OT

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQ

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? If I Have Numbness and Tingling In My Fingers, Do I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

This is probably the most common Carpal Tunnel Syndrome FAQ. The most common symptom is that the hand “falls asleep” at night while sleeping.  Tingling or numbness in thumb and index and long fingers is also a common complaint.  Less common symptom are pain in palm and wrist but no injury to cause the pain.  Also, another common symptom is that you may be dropping objects and bumping yourself or burning your fingers due to loss of sensation.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common injury treated by orthopedic surgeons.

Illustration of the carpal tunnel.

What Can I Do To Treat It?

Home remedies include taking over the counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen according to package dosage.  If after a week or two of regular ingestion of either of these (NEVER BOTH AT THE SAME TIME) without relief, it is recommended that you consult your physician.

Are There Any Braces That Will Help?

Also, wearing a wrist support splint that keeps your wrist from bending can relieve symptoms. You can purchase these splints at discount stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, or online.  They resemble a “bowling splint”.

Carpal Tunnel braces are the first line of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in most people.

Carpal Tunnel Brace

When Should I Seek Help?

Sometimes these symptoms are transient meaning that they come and go; sometimes these symptoms become chronic meaning never have gone away.  If you experience symptoms for more than 3 weeks, and you have tried some of the home remedies and continue to experience the numbness and tingling, you should seek medical evaluation.

Can Something Else Be Wrong If I Have Tingling in the Hand?

Other diseases can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities and need to be ruled out by your physician.  Sometimes the tingling in your hand can be related to a neck or shoulder injury as well.

Will I Need to Have Surgery?

Specialized hand therapy is helpful after a Carpal Tunnel release surgery has been performed.  Prior to surgery, an Occupational Therapist or Certified Hand Therapist can be very helpful with acquiring the correct splint and teaching stretching exercises.  At present, an exercise program alone cannot prevent or cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.


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