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Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Resolve on Its Own?

Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Resolve on Its Own?

The bones and ligaments in your hand and wrist form a passageway called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve also passes through this structure, providing sensory and motor support for your hand. 

Space is limited through the carpal tunnel, and when things go wrong, the median nerve can be compressed or irritated. When this becomes chronic, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) results. Often a repetitive strain injury, CTS can affect anyone from athletes to office workers. 

The hand and wrist specialists at Bahri Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic can help you with the diagnosis and treatment of CTS. Chances are that your case of CTS won’t heal without changes or treatment. Seek quality orthopedic care rather than waiting and hoping for the best. 

Under pressure

CTS results from unusual pressure on the median nerve, which is responsible for sensations in your first three fingers (excluding the baby finger) and the palm side of your thumb. It also provides motor function to the muscles at the base of your thumb. 

Any condition or activity that puts pressure on the median nerve can create CTS symptoms. If these conditions aren’t relieved, permanent damage can result. 

One of the most common causes of CTS is repetitive strain causing the collapse of the carpal tunnel that compresses the median nerve. This can result from poor ergonomics in an office setting or overuse of the hand and wrist in a hobby or sports activity. 

In some cases, your anatomy may also contribute if your carpal tunnel is smaller than average. The development of problems such as bone spurs or inflammatory conditions can also reduce the space in which the median nerve typically moves. 

Conditions that cause nerve damage, like diabetes, can also make the median nerve more susceptible to damage from compression. 

Will CTS clear up on its own?

When your CTS pain is due to the collapse of the carpal tunnel and pressure on the median nerve, discontinuing the action or posture that causes the collapse releases the nerve. With rest, inflammation subsides and tissue can return to normal. It is possible for CTS to heal on its own. 

However, it’s often impossible to completely avoid motion or activities that cause the collapse, so the release of the median nerve isn’t complete. Without full healing, you’ll remain vulnerable to re-injury. 

When CTS is due to an anatomical issue or nerve damage, chances for spontaneous healing plummet dramatically since easing a carpal tunnel collapse may not release the nerve, or the condition of the nerve itself may make it prone to damage. 

Since you may be free of symptoms before an episode of CTS fully heals, it’s difficult without medical care to fully resolve your CTS symptoms. Diagnosis often requires medical imaging and nerve tests, and you may benefit from treatments such as wrist splints or occupational therapy. Steroid injections are another common treatment. 

In worst-case scenarios, surgery to create more room for the median nerve may be necessary, but taking action on CTS symptoms in the early stages may help you avoid aggressive treatment. 

Contact Bahri Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville or St. Augustine, by phone or online, to schedule an examination to assess your CTS. Chances are you’ll need medical care to escape the pain and weakness that can accompany carpal tunnel issues. Book your consultation now. 

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