Q:

Is carpal tunnel associated with chronic long-term pain?

A:

Quick Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome may lead to chronic long-term pain if it is left untreated, but effective treatment is available if the individual acts on symptoms early enough, WebMD states. Recovery time ranges from a few months for less developed occurrences to a year and more for severe cases.

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Full Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated by surgery, immobilization of the wrist, prescribing medications, or implementing a lifestyle change, WebMD explains. Surgery is a highly effective option if the only cause is nerve constriction, but it's the most extreme step; the procedure involves opening the carpal tunnel and cutting the ligament. Immobilization reduces pressure on the nerve by fixing the wrist’s position with a splint, and it may reduce numbness or tingling feelings if the splint is worn at night. Wearing the splint at night contributes to reducing pressure on the nerve, making it easier to use the wrist during the day.

Treatment with medication consists of courses of drugs or steroid injections to the wrist, according to WebMD. This treatment is particularly useful in mild to moderate cases, but it may not eliminate the problem on its own. The most conservative option, a lifestyle change, simply entails changing regular habits to reduce the amount of pressure on the median nerve of the wrist.

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