Splints for carpal tunnel can really help those people suffering from it, even those who are experiencing severe symptoms, as research has shown.
Carpal tunnel also known as CTS is caused by a great amount of pressure applied to a nerve that runs through the wrist as is supposedly caused by repeated movement, like typing. Individuals with carpal tunnel sometimes experience numbness, weakness, tingling or pain in the arm and hand. Those who look to treatment might get the suggestions of occupational therapy, wrist splints, surgery or anti-inflammatory drugs, depending on the professional they visit.
A new recent study, that was reported into the Archives of Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine, clears up a little bit of the confusion, as far as the splints for carpal tunnel at least. There were a few prior studies that measured the advantages of using these splints and they attempted to determine what kinds should be worn and the duration of time to wear them.
For this study, an MD named William C. Walker from the Virginia Medical College, and some colleagues assigned 17 individuals who had CTS to either part-time or full-time use splints for carpal tunnel for 1 ½ months. Before and shortly after this time, participants were asked a series of questions about how serious their symptoms were and how well they could still function.
By wearing these wrist splints either all the time or only at night, brought them significant amounts of improvement after the duration of time, with the individuals wearing it full time having better results. Their symptoms began to improve, their functions were regained and nerves were working much faster.
In a very surprising finding, a lot of the patients that had serious cases of carpal tunnel experienced great improvements that were almost like the individuals who have mild and moderate forms of CTS. The mild and moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are generally treated with the splints for carpal tunnel, while individuals who have serious cases usually go through surgery. However, according to walker, these findings show that using splints will also help to improve those who have severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.
While using a splint might be very advantageous, there are some patients that were in the study who found it hard to follow their schedule for the splint. Most of them who were supposed to be wearing them all day confessed to taking small breaks and taking them off, sometimes they even forgot and left them off for over half the day. Despite how difficult it is to wear a splint for long periods of time, Walker and his team of colleagues still suggest that you wear them continuously.
Participants who were in both of the groups wore custom-molded, rigid, thermoplastic splints for carpal tunnel. The decision on the splints, both in position and material, are very important. Many of the custom-made and commercial splints are a failure at holding the wrists in the proper position. The right kind of splint will minimize pain, minimize the pressure and also facilitate the healing process.