Tips for pain relief at home


CTS can occur in almost anyone, but it usually affects people over the age of 30. Those who use their wrists and hands to perform repetitive tasks are prone to disease.

Those who use their wrists and hands in repetitive tasks are subject to CSC

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow channel in the wrist. It supports the median nerve and tendons, connecting the hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting the hands and is accompanied by symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling in the hands. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve of the wrist which provides sensation and power to the thumb, middle and ring finger. Other symptoms include pain in the wrist and fingers, weakness in the hands, and in severe conditions, pain in the arms. Symptoms start to come on gradually and may come and go, but if left untreated, the condition can worsen and lead to constant pain. Frequent and repetitive hand movements create pressure on the median nerve causing CTS. This includes repetitive movements such as typing, wrist movements, and holding something for a long time.

Who are at risk?

CTS can occur in almost anyone, but it usually affects people over the age of 30. Those who use their wrists and hands to perform repetitive tasks are prone to disease. Patients with hypothyroidism, obesity, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are at higher risk. It can also occur during pregnancy.

Caring for CTS at Home

Taking the following steps at home can help manage pain from CTS:

  • Take breaks between your repetitive tasks
  • Wear wrist splints; it helps keep your wrists straight and relieves pressure on the median nerve
  • Stretch your hands, do wrist exercises to improve blood circulation
  • Keep your hands warm. In case of pain, hot compression helps to relieve the same
  • Elevate your hands and wrists
  • Change your hand/wrist position while performing activities


  • Keep conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis which are major causes of muscle weakness under control
  • Take 15-minute breaks between repetitive activities to rest your wrists and help your muscles relax
  • Keep your hand and wrist straight when doing different things i.e. holding tools, pens straight
  • Avoid rolling up your wrists
  • Minimize repetitive hand movements
  • Relax your grip while holding anything

When to consult a doctor ?

One should consult a medical expert about the development of muscle pain. This is because as CTS progresses or worsens, muscle grip and strength shrinks and causes cramping. If left untreated, the ongoing pain can lead to reduced sensation in the fingers, slower nerve impulses, less strength and coordination, and loss of motor control. In the event that the median nerve is severely damaged, surgery must be performed.

Surgical intervention

While the symptoms of CTS can be managed with simple advice, surgery may be required in severe cases. Through surgery, the size of the tunnel is increased so that the pressure on the nerves running through the tunnel decreases. After surgery, it may take a few months to regain full sensation in the operated area.

(Dr. Raman Kant Aggarwal, Director, Institute of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Orthopaedics, Medanta Hospital Gurgaon)

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