Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition where pressure exerted on the median nerve located in the wrist causes pain to your fingers.
There are varying causes for carpal tunnel syndrome, which includes:
- Diseases that affect the thyroid gland
- Hormonal imbalances of women due to pregnancy.
- Physical causes such as too much use of vibration tools like a jackhammer
- Improper hand posture when using a computer and mouse can also cause CTS.
Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may be require you to undergo surgery, also known as carpal tunnel release. One of the main concerns for patients after surgery is proper care and healing. The surgically-repaired hand will be swollen, feel stiff, and will likely have no strength to perform the usual tasks one is accustomed to.
There are a few ways to ease the discomfort after surgery and speed up the healing process. Read on below for post surgery care and rehab tips.
The time to fully recover from a carpal tunnel surgery can take anywhere from several days to a few months. It’s important that you have prepared for this recovery period so that your hand can fully heal. This may mean taking time off work, reducing physical activities, and maybe even getting a cleaner to help with housekeeping if you have just came out of a complex procedure that requires extended rehab.
While recovering from carpal tunnel after surgery does not require avoiding specific foods, best plan is to eat food that are easy to digest. You can stick to plain cooked rice, toast and yogurt for carbohydrate sources. Protein is highly recommended to repair tissues and muscles. Broiled chicken breast is recommended as it is lean and light to the stomach.
As your hand recovers, make sure you remember some basic things. The bandage you use must always be clean and dry to avoid infection. Apply cold compress to relieve swelling. Make sure your hand is elevated and does not get hanged down as this will make the swelling worse.
Take care not to do any heavy lifting and expect that you will have hand movement restrictions.
Pain meds should only be taken if the pain is really intolerable or as prescribed. Also, to avoid getting an upset stomach from pain meds, take them only after meals.
Hand exercises for your hand is an important part of post surgery care and rehab. This process should be slow and gradual to prevent re-injuring your hand. Start by stretching and limited bending of the fingers only. Opening and closing the hands is a good exercise if performed daily.
As your hand continues to recover, you can move on towards strengthening the entire hand and wrist. You can continue with hand squeezing, especially therapeutic putty. You can also start doing wrist curls. Weights can be placed in order to nurse the hand back to its original working condition.
Planning for a carpal tunnel release, or have just came out of one? In St Albert, we can help with the post surgery care and rehab. Get in touch with us for more information.