Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on its cause.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, which might include wrist pain or tingling or numbness in your fingers, and will do a physical examination.
You may have further tests such as a nerve conduction study to test the speed the median nerve transmits impulses through the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow passageway in the wrist with just enough room for the tendons and nerves that pass through it. The median nerve carries the sense of touch to the thumb and most of the first three fingers, and controls movement for some of the hand muscles.
Treatment options can include:
- treating a related medical condition that could be causing the symptoms
- wearing a wrist brace (also called a splint) to keep the wrist straight, especially at night
- ice, elevation, massage
- anti-inflammatory medicines to ease pain
- avoiding activities that cause symptoms
- corticosteroid injections into the wrist
- surgery (as a last resort)
Last reviewed: November 2016