Relieving pain and reducing swelling caused by carpal tunnel syndrome

Steps to relieve pain and reduce swelling include:

  • Applying ice to the palm side of the hand and wrist for short periods. Alternating cold- and warm-water soaks may help. Experiment to see what works best for you.
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands. Wearing a wrist splint at night is often helpful.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can help reduce swelling and relieve pain, may be helpful for some people, although they are not generally thought to be effective for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, and controlling medical conditions such as diabetes may help relieve your symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome related to swelling.

Last Updated: October 29, 2008

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