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Is Carpal Tunnel Permanent?


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is an unfortunately common condition that causes severe pain in the wrist and hand, making everyday living activities difficult. Often, CTS is caused by repetitive strain injury at work and is one of the leading contributors to workers’ compensation claims in the United States. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which goes from the palm of the hand, all the way to the forearm becomes compromised. When this happens, the nerve becomes pressed in the area of the wrist known as the Carpal Tunnel, which is a narrow passageway between the bones and ligaments in your hand. This is where the condition gets its name.

When an individual is suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and this nerve becomes compressed can deliver several annoying and painful side effects. Typically, it starts with numbness and weakness in the hand and wrist, and can eventually escalate to pain in the hand, wrist and along the forearm. Swelling in the fingers may occur.

Once you have been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you may be wondering—is this permanent? The good news is, if you catch this condition early on, it is treatable. And while you may not be able to completely relieve yourself from all of the symptoms of this condition for the rest of your life, there are treatments available. There are even non-invasive, and natural treatments can help you restore use in your hands and fingers and help you find relief from your pain and discomfort.

Here are some of the most common treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • Wrist Splints- One of the first and most common non-invasive treatments for this condition is to wear a nighttime splint, also known as cock-up splint.
  • Prescription Medications- Corticosteroids or lidocaine can be injected into the wrist near the Carpal Tunnel or taken orally to help relieve the pressure on this nerve. This typically only works with mild CTS.
  • Alternative Treatments- Yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments are all-natural options that can help lessen the severity of the Carpal Tunnel and open up this restricted pathway in the wrist.
  • Over-The-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Drugs- In some situations, with mild cases of Carpal Tunnel, drugs such as Asprin or Ibuprofen can help manage the swelling associated with CTS and provide relief while helping to treat the pain. While this isn’t a permanent treatment, it can help manage the symptoms.

There are also Carpal Tunnel surgery options available. This includes Open Release Surgery, which is the standard surgical option that involves making a two-inch incision in the wrist and cutting the carpal ligament to open up the Carpal Tunnel. There is also a new endoscopic surgery option that involves two small incisions around the wrist and palm and again cuts the carpal ligament to help open up the tunnel.

While there are some individuals with Carpal Tunnel who are understandably apprehensive about something as invasive as surgery, it does work. In fact, the recurrence of the carpal tunnel after surgery is very rare, meaning you may be able to alleviate your symptoms for good. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome does not have to be permanent if you figure out the right treatment that works for you.

The best way to determine if you have CTS, and what your best options are for treatment is to visit your doctor for further diagnosis so you can discuss your available options. If you are suffering from pain and discomfort associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and need help finding the right doctor, call us at (800) 897-8440.