Since the pain and numbness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of increased pressure on the on the median nerve, treatments are designed to decrease this pressure.
The sooner treatment is started, the better the chances of relieving symptoms and preventing long-term damage to the median nerve in the hand.
The most common early treatments include using a splint, especially at night to help keep the wrist straight thus lowering the pressure in the tunnel, rest , acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to control inflammation and pain
Another option prescribed by some specialists may be steroid injections. Some, but not all, doctors think steroid injections across the ligaments into the carpal tunnel can provide relief for patients that could last for weeks or months and then be repeated if helpful.
If conservative treatment options do not relieve symptoms, then a carpal tunnel release surgery may be appropriate. This minimally invasive surgery involves cutting the ligament to lower the pressure inside of the tunnel, thus taking pressure off of the median nerve allowing the nerve to heal.