Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed, which runs from the hand to the arm. This condition causes uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain in the hands and wrists, numbness, tingling, and the inability to perform fine motor tasks. X Research sources If the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is interfering with your sleep, you may need to make small changes to your sleep routine to improve the situation. If that doesn’t work, you can treat the cause of the pain, either at home or by seeing a doctor.
Changing the Way of Sleeping
Use restraints. One of the easiest ways to make it easier for people with carpal tunnel syndrome to sleep is to wear a wrist brace. By wearing a brace, your wrist will not bend or move when you sleep.
You may need to use a brace during the day, depending on the type of activity that usually causes pain.
These braces can be purchased at drugstores, or use a brace made especially for you as directed by your doctor.
Don’t sleep on your side. Although unproven, side sleeping is associated with an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to the fact that the wrist will be crushed in an oblique position. So, try to sleep on your back so that your wrists are not crushed.
Support hands while sleeping. Think about where you usually put your hands when you sleep, and consider whether that position might make your symptoms worse. Try not to sleep with your hands under your body or pillows, as this will exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome.
Placing your arm on a pillow will relieve pressure and pain. If you sleep on your side, make sure that the side of the arm with carpal tunnel syndrome is on top. Place a pillow in front of you and place your hands on it. Try different heights to find the most comfortable position.
Straighten your arms. Bending your elbows can put additional pressure on the nerves, which can make symptoms worse. As much as possible straighten your elbows throughout the night while sleeping.
You may need to wrap your elbows in a towel to make them harder to bend. This can prevent you from bending your arms while you sleep.
Overcoming Pain in the Middle of the Night
Use an ice pack. Ice the wrist to reduce swelling, which in turn reduces the pain. Try holding the compress on your wrist for 15-20 minutes.
If you wake up frequently in the middle of the night and want to apply an ice pack, consider applying a wrist compress before going to bed every night.
You can also compress during the day as often as needed.
Put pressure on the wrist. You can relieve carpal tunnel symptoms, such as pain, numbness, and tingling, by stretching and applying pressure to the hand and wrist area. Try techniques that focus on acupressure points such as the following at the onset of your waking symptoms:
Straighten your upper arms, but bend your elbows.
Use the other hand to push four fingers down toward the floor, opening the wrist. Hold this position for up to 15 seconds.
Use the other hand to push the thumb and forefinger down. Hold for 15 seconds.
Clasp your hands and examine the inside of your wrists. You will notice a small gap between the bone and the tendon. Place the thumb of the other hand in this area and press for 30 seconds. You’ll probably notice that the automatic grip releases, and that’s fine.
Place the base of the index finger of the other hand on the back of the hand, at the wrist gap. Pay attention to the location of the tip of the index finger, then use the thumb of the other hand to press this point while lifting the arm. Hold it up and hold it down for 30 seconds.
Try taking medicine. Over-the-counter NSAIDs can relieve pain experienced by people with carpal tunnel syndrome. These medications will reduce pain and swelling. You need to take it regularly before bed to avoid symptoms, or as needed if you have trouble sleeping because of pain.
NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen , and naprosyn .
Make sure you talk to your doctor about the right dose, and never take more than the recommended dose.
Shake hands. Sometimes, the carpal tunnel can numb your hand because you accidentally lay on your wrist. If your hands are numb, get up and shake your hands for a minute. Sometimes you just need to shake it to get rid of the numbness and go back to sleep.
Make sure you sleep in a warm room. Anything that irritates the wrist nerve can give rise to the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is sometimes raised or exacerbated by the cold. So, you should sleep in a room that is not too cold. Cold rooms can lower the temperature and blood flow in the hands, putting pressure on the nerves.
Changing Your Lifestyle to Reduce Pain
Exercise your wrist. Stretching can relieve pressure on nerves and reduce pain. Try the following exercise in 10 repetitions at least once a day:
Straighten your arms in front of your body with your palms facing down.
Bend your wrist toward you so all ten fingers are facing the ceiling, and hold this position for five seconds.
Loosen and straighten the wrist.
Clasp both hands tightly.
Bend your wrists away from you so all ten fingers are pointing toward the floor, and hold this position for five seconds.
Loosen and straighten the wrist. Wait five seconds before repeating.
Try practicing yoga. Incorporate yoga into your daily routine. Yoga has been shown to reduce pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as increase hand strength.
If you don’t want to take a yoga class in a studio or gym, buy a video or search the internet for exercises. Then, you can practice yoga yourself at home at any time you want.
Avoid activities that make the pain worse. As much as possible avoid anything that can make carpal tunnel pain worse. If you can’t stop doing certain activities (like typing), maybe you can look for an ergonomic device that reduces wrist strain. Examples of activities that can trigger carpal tunnel pain are:
Activities that put a lot of pressure on the base of the palms (such as push-ups )
Activities that require the wrist to move back and forth (such as typing, sewing, or playing video games)
Activities that require you to grip firmly (such as using a lawn mower)
Activities that expose hands to vibration (such as using an electric drill)
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Medical Treatment
Get hand therapy. Your doctor may recommend hand therapy, a special type of physical therapy that focuses purely on the hands and wrists. You will be asked to attend regular sessions and perform a variety of exercises intended to strengthen your hands and reduce pain.
The hand therapist will also ask you to do the exercises yourself at home between sessions. If you want this condition to improve, do it according to the therapist’s instructions.
Try injections. If you want the pain to subside, but aren’t ready for surgery, consider requesting a wrist injection. This usually relieves pain that is temporary.
Steroid injections are commonly used to reduce pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Botox injections can also help.
Try acupuncture or cupping. If you’re looking for a drug-free way to manage pain, consider acupuncture and cupping. Both techniques rely on the theory that the body has several pressure points that can be stimulated to reduce pain.
Acupuncture involves the use of small needles, while cupping uses several glasses on pressure points of the body to create suctions.
Run the operation. For most people, surgery is a last resort, but if carpal tunnel syndrome is interfering with your life and nothing is working for you, this may be the best option for you. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of surgery to determine if this option is right.
Carpal tunnel release surgery involves cutting the tissue around the median nerve to release pressure.
There are two types of carpal tunnel surgery: open release surgery requires a five-inch incision, while endoscopic release surgery requires two smaller incisions, which reduces patient pain and recovery time.
It will take you several months to recover from carpal tunnel surgery although the pain is much less after the procedure is complete.
Consider starting a weight loss program . Obesity is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. So, a structured weight loss program can reduce the symptoms. Make sure you discuss each option with your doctor before making drastic changes to your diet.