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Wrist Splint for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Topic Overview

A wrist splint is a brace that looks like a fingerless glove. It stabilizes your wrist in a straight and sometimes slightly bent-back position. Wearing a wrist splint minimizes pressure on the median nerve and allows you a period of "relative rest" from movements that make carpal tunnel syndrome worse.

Think about these guidelines when you use a wrist splint:

  • When worn to stabilize the wrist during sleep, a wrist splint can reduce pain and pressure on the median nerve.
  • A wrist splint isn't a substitute for good workplace design and proper body mechanics. Some experts advise against wearing a wrist splint while working, because doing so can strain the hand's tendons.
  • A wrist splint is a helpful short-term treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. But long-term use can cause your muscles to weaken. During and after a period of splint use, exercise and slowly increase your hand and wrist movements. This will help prevent your wrist muscles from weakening.

Splints are available in drugstores without a prescription. They are also available by prescription from orthopedic and medical supply stores. Physical and occupational therapists can make custom-fit splints from lightweight materials that may be more comfortable to wear.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Herbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery
Last Revised October 2, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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