One symptom most people can expect after any surgery is some discomfort. Your body is recovering from an invasive procedure after all. Carpal tunnel release is no exception. However, even if it’s a common symptom, that doesn’t mean you have to let it happen. It helps to be aware of the many home remedies for alleviating pain and discomfort. If you’ve had carpal tunnel release recently or plan to have one soon, read on to learn ways to relieve pain following the surgery.
Wrist Bandages or Splints
After surgery, your doctor will apply a bandage to the surgical wound and may give you a splint. These measures ensure that your hand is aligned correctly and the incisions are protected. Supporting your wrist this way promotes healing and reduces risk of injury. You can expect to wear the bandage and splint for two weeks or longer.
Remember to keep your bandage dry and clean. Change it regularly or if it gets dirty. Do not forget to consult your surgeon about best practices when replacing the dressing. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the bandages or splint.
If you are experiencing pain or swelling after carpal tunnel release surgery, icing it can help. The cold sensation can temporarily relieve pain and decrease swelling by inhibiting circulation. Items suitable for you to use for icing include:
- Bags of frozen vegetables, such as peas, wrapped in a soft cloth
- Cold packs wrapped in a soft cloth
- Ice wrapped in a plastic bag and soft cloth
Be sure not to apply ice directly to your skin, and only for twenty minutes every hour. Direct or extended contact with ice can cause damage to tissues and may make pain worse.
Elevate Your Hand
Whenever possible, elevate your hand and wrist above the level of your heart. This method uses gravity to decrease the fluid that collects in your wrist, inhibiting swelling. At night, you can prop your wrist on a pillow when laying down. Try to keep your hand higher than your heart as much as possible. Avoid allowing your hand to hang down, as this can increase swelling.
If the temporary remedies mentioned above do not work for you, do not fret! You can use over-the-counter medicines, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. Remember to consult your doctor first for recommendations on specific pain relievers and dosage. If you need something else for the pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger medication.
Take A Break
After your carpal tunnel release surgery, the specific point when you can return to work will depend on many factors, such as:
- The type of surgery performed and any complications that occurred during or after the procedure
- Whether you had surgery on your dominant or non-dominant hand
- The rate at which you heal post-surgery and regain strength and mobility
- The intensity of your work activities
Your doctor will advise you to rest for approximately a month. However, if you had surgery on your non-dominant hand, you might be able to return to work sooner. Your recovery time will also depend on whether you engage in repetitive or hand-intensive motions at work, like typing.
Even while resting at home, it is best to avoid any intense or heavy tasks involving your hands.
Your doctor will encourage you to move your fingers to prevent stiffness. Furthermore, there are many simple stretches you can do at home to help relieve the pressure on your wrist. Your doctor will likely recommend doing physical therapy once the external wound heals. This can enhance and speed up recovery and strengthen your wrist and hand.
Carpal Tunnel Release Specialist In Clinton Township, MI
There will almost always be some pain and discomfort following surgery. If you’ve recently had carpal tunnel release, you can relieve the aching at home using many remedies.
If you constantly struggle with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. The earlier you find out if you need carpal tunnel release surgery, the better. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Movement Orthopedics are ready to attend to your needs.
Ready to make an appointment? Call us today at (586) 436-3785 or set up one using our easy online appointment request form. We look forward to providing you with long-lasting relief from carpal tunnel syndrome!