FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does wearing a wrist brace help carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when swelling in the wrist exerts excessive pressure on the median nerve, which then passes through the wrist’s carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway of ligament and bone. Wrist braces can be helpful for carpal tunnel syndrome because they keep your wrist in a straight position. Keeping the wrist aligned with the hand helps prevent swelling caused by repetitive motion and flexing of the joint. While some people like to wear them during the day when engaging in activities that can trigger a flare-up, a carpal tunnel wrist brace is also useful at night to prevent bending the wrists while asleep.
Where can I buy wrist braces or hand supports?
Most drugstores will carry at least one wrist support brace—but the selection is often limited to just a couple of basic products. For wrist support or hand orthotics that you plan to use regularly for extended periods, it’s best to shop at a specialty medical supplier that offers a wide variety of upper extremity orthopedic supplies. This will let you choose something ideally suited to your specific needs—like arthritis gloves, finger splints and thumb spicas, wrist braces with thumb support, resting splints, braces for carpal tunnel syndrome, or a sprained wrist brace.
How long should I wear a wrist brace?
Always follow the recommendations set forth by your doctor about any medical therapy or treatment. However, if you’re choosing a wrist brace or other orthopedic supplies without physician supervision, then there are some guidelines to follow. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, most people wrist braces overnight to rest the joint and prevent unnecessary bending while asleep. You may also wear it in the daytime when certain activities prove irritating.
Expect to use your wrist brace for at least three to four weeks—perhaps longer. That’s about how long it can take to see results. Even after symptoms improve, you may want to keep wearing the brace to prevent further flare-ups.
Can I wear wrist braces or hand support overnight?
Yes, wrist braces and hand orthotics can be worn overnight. In fact, most people choose to wear them while sleeping since it is all too easy to unknowingly bend the affected wrist in an awkward position causing more injury or pain.
How tight should wrist and hand support be?
Ensure that wrist braces, arthritis gloves, and similar appliances are snug, but not overly tight. They should be supportive without cutting off circulation. In particular, especially where carpal tunnel syndrome is concerned, the goal is to reduce swelling through the carpal tunnel pathway. Wearing a wrist brace too tight can actually be counter-productive because it can put even more pressure on this passageway and induce further inflammation.
What are the benefits of using ergonomic mouse pads or keyboards?
Ergonomic mouse pads and keyboards offer support where you need it most—at the wrist. This is usually through padding designed to support and elevate the wrist. Ergonomic keyboards are also designed so that your arms can rest at natural angles to the keyboard. These features will not only help ease irritation in people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome but also help prevent irritation from happening in the first place. If you’re concerned about wear and tear on the hands, wrists, and arms, consider using these devices before problems occur.
Can wrist supports help to relieve arthritis pain?
Yes, wrist and hand orthopedic devices are effective in relieving discomfort associated with arthritis. Wrist supports like braces, splints, or arthritis gloves can help alleviate pain while at work or at rest. These devices can offer support and soothe irritation. They can also affect the way you use your hands, which can prevent motion that causes pain. Compression can improve blood flow, which is another important way to help reduce pain.
What types of conditions can wrist and hand support help with?
Any condition where support, compression, or restricted motion could prove beneficial is a condition that can benefit from the use of wrist supports. Carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis are two conditions most commonly treated with wrist and hand supports. Others include tendonitis, sprains, strains, and fractures.
MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER
The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.