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Is it OK to wear wrist splints every day?

Posted Apr 27 2011 12:00am

San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Doctor Comments:

Carpal Tunnel Doctor San Francisco Some people that have chronic wrist pain get in the habit of wearing wrist supports every day. The wrist splints make it so they can still work on the computer even though the hand or wrist is inflamed...usually from repetitive use.

Hey...I have no problem with wrist supports under certain conditions. But if the wrist splints are the actual treatment...along with pain pills...well I think you can do better.

First of all...all of our body parts stay healthy with motion. If you restrict motion you will begin (quickly) to lose muscle mass and develop scar tissue. Look what happens to a persons arm when they break it and goes into a cast. The arm muscles atrophy. Neck braces, wrist splints, knee supports, or any other device that is going to restrict normal motion in a joint, should just be used on a temporary basis....not every day for extended periods of time.

The other problem I have with wrist splints and Motrin...the typical treatment from a family doctor or emergency room doctor for carpal tunnel and cumulative trauma disorders is that it really does nothing for the actual cause of the hand pain. It just treats the symptom, and can cause a new set of health concerns by restricting motion of the wrist and hands.

So what is the right kind of treatment for carpal tunnel symptoms ?

At our Carpal Tunnel Treatment Center in San Francisco we check the neck to the finger tips on both sides when a patient presents with CTS symptoms.

We check for nerve pressure, muscle spasms, inflammation, swollen tendons, abnormal joint motion in the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger joints...and we also check the rest of the spine...it's all connected.

The treatment is a combination of chiropractic adjustments to the neck, elbow, wrist, and fingers. Deep tissue laser therapy to reduce inflammation and pain. Graston technique to check for and treat scar tissue in the neck, arms, and hands. Active Release Technique (ART) to check for and treat muscle spasms and adhesion's. Special exercises to restore normal joint and muscle function. We also use ice therapy for pain and inflammation...and yes, wrist splints for a day or two if indicated...never ongoing.

We may even use Kinesio Tape which can give your wrists a lot of support with almost normal motion.

A lot of stuff huh?  Sure it is...but we do it in stages, and you do some of it at home. Repetitive Stress Injuries like CTS and related disorders are hard to treat...especially if you need to keep working. 

This is the beauty of chiropractic treatment for upper extremity disorders. You can usually keep working while you are actually getting better...not worse, from long term wrist splint use and Motrin to mask the pain.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

If you live or work near downtown San Francisco and are suffering with chronic hand pain or other carpal tunnel symptoms...you should probably be checked by a carpal tunnel doctor. If you are using wrist splints on a daily basis you should get checked sooner than later.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Doctors , call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post. Ask for a Complimentary CTS Evaluation.

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