Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


I have decided to try wearing arm splints for my carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm trying the kind you buy at the drug store first. How often should I wear them? Is more better?


Using splints for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is known to be effective in reducing pain and discomfort. It's not clear just what kind of splints are best or how and when to where them.

Two recent studies using splints as the only treatment show symptoms are better when the splints are only worn at night. Symptoms and nerve function both improve when the splints are worn day and night.

There are a few things to consider with splint wearing as a treatment option. It is known that the discomfort of CTS is less likely to respond when the symptoms have been present a long time. Second, wearing splints helps reduce pain and discomfort in other muscles and joints. Third, most patients who wear splints think they wear them more than they do.

If you're trying splints for the first time, take some notes along the way. Record the date and time when you put the splints on and take them off. Note any symptoms that are present before, during, and after using the splints. Make a special note if you use the splints with any other form of treatment such as heat, medicine, or injections.

Review your results every five to seven days. If your symptoms get worse instead of better, see a doctor. Early treatment usually has better results.

Robert A. Werner, MD, et al. Randomized Controlled Trial of Nocturnal Splinting for Active Workers with Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. January 2005. Vol. 86. No. 1. Pp. 1-7.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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