Treating Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause symptoms such as pain, tingling and numbness in your hand due to the compression of the median nerve that runs inside the wrist. To reduce the swelling of tissue, which is responsible for putting pressure on the nerve, steroid injections are often administered into the area. Carpal tunnel injections are effective for diminishing pressure and alleviating the subsequent symptoms that result from it.
If you are unable to manage your symptoms through non-invasive means and your carpal tunnel pain is beginning to interfere with your day-to-day life, getting a steroid injection may be the right course of treatment for you. While injections of any kind can sometimes be unsettling, understanding what to expect from the process and exploring the alternatives can help you decide if carpal tunnel injections are the best solution for relieving your carpal tunnel symptoms.
What are Steroids?
Our bodies produce natural steroids through the adrenal glands. In turn, these hormones help us manage the effects of inflammation such as swelling. Man-made steroids that are used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome are called corticosteroids and can either be administered by a tablet or injection. For most cases, injections have proven to be more effective at resolving the painful symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
What to Expect from the Injection Process
If the thought of an injection makes you feel a little apprehensive, you’re not alone. Fortunately, knowing more about what to expect from the injection process can help ease your anxieties:
- Prior to Procedure: Notify your doctor about any medications, herbal remedies or supplements you currently take, as well as any allergies you may have.
- During the Procedure: You will be asked to place your palm facing upwards. The area will be numbed and sanitized before the needle is inserted into the carpal tunnel of your wrist. The steroid is then injected. You may experience some slight discomfort when the needle goes in, but the procedure should only last a few minutes at most.
- Post-Procedure Care: Your wrist will be bandaged, and you are advised to wait at least 48 hours before performing any difficult activities with your hand. While serious complications are extremely rare, you can expect mild to moderate pain in the affected hand which will usually go away after a few days. Be sure to look out for any signs of infection including fever, chills, redness, or any discharge from the injection site. If you think you have an emergency, call your doctor immediately.
Non-Operative Alternatives to Surgery for Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be treated by other non-surgical techniques.
- Immobilization: Use a splint for 4-6 weeks to immobilize your wrist and prevent putting pressure on the nerve. Give your hand at least 2 weeks of rest and apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling. A splint is especially effective if it is worn at night as it helps to reduce pain, numbness and tingling sensations.
- Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can guide you through gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to promote healing. Exercises should be repeated in frequent sessions throughout the day to help you regain function and mobility in your hand.
- Treat Underlying Conditions: Diabetes and arthritis are two common conditions that can make carpel tunnel syndrome much worse. Make sure to monitor and control your blood sugar if you are diabetic and follow any recommendations by your doctor to help manage your arthritis. </li
Are Carpal Tunnel Injections Right for You?
After the procedure, most carpal tunnel patients find relief from their symptoms in less than a month. However, the beneficial effects of a steroid injection may only last up to two and a half months. If you have persistent symptoms, the next step might be to consider surgery to avoid tendon or nerve damage that could potentially occur after repeated injection procedures.
If you are considering carpal tunnel injections as a treatment option, contact Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic today. Call us at (601) 366-1011 to make an appointment for a consultation. We’ll help you find the most appropriate solution to meet your needs.