Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Home Treatments
If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel—wrist or finger pain, numbness, and tingling in the fingers—you can often treat it at home. You may need to change activities that are making it worse and take frequent breaks if you do a lot of work with your hands.
- Wearing a night splint on your wrist can help keep the wrist from being in positions that place pressure on the carpal tunnel nerve while you sleep.
- Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome take OTC anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to help symptoms by reducing inflammation around the nerve that runs in the carpal tunnel.
- It can take at least 1–2 weeks of wearing a splint, modifying your activities, and taking NSAIDs to notice improvement in carpal tunnel symptoms. But it can take about 6 weeks to feel better.
See a healthcare provider if your symptoms have not improved after 3–4 weeks of home treatments or if you develop significant weakness, numbness, or shrinking of your thumb muscles in the palm.
OTC treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Wrist splint
Home remedies for carpal tunnel
- Avoid repetitive wrist motions and take frequent breaks while active.
- Wear a wrist splint at night.
- Try to keep your wrist straight when doing activities like typing, sewing, or carpentry.
- Perform simple wrist stretches to prevent muscle tightness and fatigue.
- Apply ice to your wrist whenever you have symptoms to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Take NSAIDs regularly for 2–3 weeks. This is more effective than just taking them as needed.
Go to the ER if any of these symptoms are severe: pain and swelling, numbness and tingling in the fingers, and weakness of the fingers (especially after a fall or other trauma to the hand and wrist).