There are various treatments that can be used for carpal tunnel, and that includes the use of a brace or splint. It depends on the severity of the condition and the type of motions that are performed that may put a strain on the wrist will determine if your doctor will order a custom splint or brace. These customizations are routinely fabricated by the physical or occupational therapist that care is sought from. The therapist will ensure the fit and appropriate range of motion.
Splints are generally composed of hard material, and that uses Velcro to fasten to the hand and wrist. The therapist can further modify the splint if there be areas of discomfort or improper fit. Braces tend to be rigid but fit better because of how they are constructed. The therapist has the ability to customize the brace for necessary mobility.
Customized braces/splints may be covered by your health insurance if it is necessary for your treatment, therapy and/or prevention of further injury. To determine the benefits covered, check your durable medical equipment (DME) coverage with your health insurance company. It is important to check with the provider prior to having a brace fabricated or fitted because it can determine the type of brace that is chosen based on cost.
Another type of brace or wrist splint can be purchased from a local pharmacy, grocery store, and/or supermarket. Common brands include Ace, Futuro, Prolite etc. These braces come in set sizes ranging from small to extra large. It is important to know whether you can try on the brace in the store to determine which is the best fit or one that allows you to return the item. Understanding the stores policy is the best way to be able to get a brace that fits appropriately and is comfortable.
The type and function of the brace is determined based on the daily use. If it is important to have a comfortable brace that allows the wrist to have more flexion, then one might choose a softer brace. A rigid brace may be chosen for nighttime use to ensure that the wrist maintains a neutral position while you sleep. This position allows the pressure to be removed from the median nerve.
When choosing the best brace for your carpal tunnel, it is sometimes best to consult with a professional to determine what will help reduce the symptoms that are experienced. Realistically it may be necessary to try on different types of braces to determine what is more comfortable and effective.