Carpal tunnel syndrome, if left untreated, can become very painful and interfere with a normal lifestyle. It is caused by the pinching of the median nerve, which is housed in the carpal tunnel. The nerve itself is not damaged, but instead, the tendons and muscles in the carpal tunnel become inflamed or irritated.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome can be grouped into two: surgical and non-surgical treatments. Non-surgical treatments involve medication that deal with the inflammation of the tendons and the muscles. Commonly prescribed medication include painkillers with anti-inflammatory properties, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. More often than not, the medication prescribed are non-steroidal. This kind of treatment is often meant for cases of carpal tunnel syndrome which are not advanced or are due to temporary swelling. Exercise is also prescribed for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Specific exercises targeting the muscles in the hand and wrist will be suggested by a therapist. In some cases, a therapist may even be required for the sessions.
For cases wherein the tendons have become irritated to the point that they have thickened, surgical treatment is preferred. In this case, the patient has to go to a doctor for the operation. There are different kinds of carpal tunnel surgery, and they are normally suggested for people who experience carpal tunnel syndrome for months on end. If the pain and other symptoms do not disappear with the non-surgical treatments, then surgery is probably the only way to go. After surgery, the symptoms go away immediately, but full recovery may take months.