Before we discuss carpal tunnel syndrome treatment it is first important to learn how this condition occurs. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage of both bone and ligaments in your wrist. The median nerve passes through this passage. For most people there is never a problem with this nerve passing through this small tunnel. However, continuous wrist and hand movement puts stress on the tendons, and may even cause them to swell. This swelling logically limits the space in the tunnel and can eventually put pressure on the median nerve. The pressure has the undesired effects of numbness, pain and limited movement. There are many activities that contribute to these overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries are very common in occupations that include keyboarding, playing musical instruments or even workers on an assemble line. It is the repetition with the hand and wrist that exposes oneself to this sort of inflammation and discomfort. The most common form manifests itself in the wrist. Additional symptoms include pain, weakness, burning, numbness or even tingling in the hand. If you are experiencing any of these feelings then you need carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The good news is that there is help that you can do from home as long as your pain and discomfort are only moderate. This moderate discomfort accounts for the vast majority of all cases. However, without a lifestyle change and any treatment your pain and mobility can progress to severe. For more severe cases you will need to consider surgery or even physical therapy treatment.
For moderate cases cold pack therapy will provide just the relief you need. Gel ice packs will not only lessen the pain they will also help reduce the swelling and pressure on the median nerve and provide immediate, temporary relief around the wrist. Of course this form of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment must be applied appropriately. We recommend applying cold therapy in 10 to 20 minute increments. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. This cannot only cause pain and discomfort due to the cold, but could eventually lead to damage. There are numerous ways to avoid this direct contact. The most common technique is to use a towel to serve as both a container and a barrier. However, this method does not treat the entire wrist, can be messy and will involve another hand or some bandage to hold it in place. Not a big deal, but it will prevent you from accomplishing anything else, and may take more time if you decide to rotate the ice around each side of the wrist. Fortunately, companies have finally started to make sports medicine cold pack therapy products just for this condition. I recommend purchasing one of these ice wraps made especially for the wrist. They are very inexpensive, often less than $25.
Custom ice wraps are extremely comfortable and provide effective carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The concept is very simple. Manufacturers begin with gel ice packs. This gel is a special substance that freezes quickly and feels comfortable when applied. The packs are then sealed in plastic or rubber before being placed in a special material that is perfect for many physical therapy applications. Once such material is neoprene, but there are others. Neoprene adds the perfect amount of insulation and padding without preventing the cold pack therapy process from working. Now you have a finished ice wrap that is a perfect carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. They can be put right back into the freezer for multiple applications. The nice thing about these ice wraps is that they may be used over your clothes without creating a mess when the ice thaws.