Hand and Wrist Health

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about hand and wrist health.

What is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Dr. Michael Rymer discusses the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What is the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?

The treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of non operative and operative measures. A lot of it depends on the patients severity of carpal tunnel and what they’ve tried before they see us. Mild carpal tunnel or early on carpal tunnel, we often treat conservatively. That includes modalities such as physical therapy, splinting and anti inflammatories and activity modification. When you get more advanced disease process or disease process that’s not responsive to conservative measures usually we try either steroid injections or surgery.

Some people with mild carpal tunnel, can be managed for the rest of their life with conservative stuff like, splinting, anti inflammatories, activity modification and hand therapy. There is a large proportion that it does progress on to, need an surgical intervention.


To treat carpal tunnel, your doctor will probably ask you to rest your wrist and make an effort to change the way you are doing the movements you suspect are causing the issue, according to the American Academy of PediatricsOff Site Icon (AAFP).

The AAFP recommends the following to help relieve carpal tunnel symptoms:

  • Avoid overusing your wrist and hand
  • Do stretching exercises (ask your doctor for some)
  • Massage the wrist and arm area
  • Prop your arm up with a pillow, with the elbow at a gentle bend, when you lie down
  • Try not to hold your wrist in a way that it is bent downward for long

If the carpal tunnel syndrome is mild, your doctor might give you an injection of a corticosteroid in your wrist to help reduce inflammation and pain, according to the AAFP. In more severe cases, surgery might be necessary.

For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Michael Rymer, MD, Hand and Reconstructive Surgeons and Associates; Beth Berrettoni, MD, Hand and Reconstructive Surgeons and Associates; Matthew Cavo, MD, Hand and Reconstructive Surgeons and Associates