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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Reducing Pain and Swelling

Topic Overview

If you have pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can take steps to help the pain.

Steps to relieve pain and reduce swelling include:

  • Applying ice to the palm side of the hand and wrist for short periods.
  • Avoiding sleeping on your hands or with your wrists bent. Wearing a wrist splint at night is often helpful.
  • Asking your doctor if you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which may help reduce swelling and relieve pain. They may be helpful for some people, although they are not generally thought to be effective for carpal tunnel syndrome. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Other lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, and controlling medical conditions, such as diabetes, may help relieve your symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome related to swelling.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerHerbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery

Current as ofMarch 21, 2017

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