My Condition

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

My carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is pressure on a nerve in your wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain in your hand and fingers. You can often treat it yourself, but it can take months to get better.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can normally be diagnosed by your GP, as the symptoms with carpal tunnel are so typical that no tests are usually needed to confirm diagnosis.

If a diagnosis is not clear, however, then you may be referred on to a specialist at the hospital for further tests.

Local commissioning policies are in place for this condition

Please be aware that there are local commissioning policies in place for this condition. This means that certain treatments may not be available to you on the NHS.

Please click here for more information.

Risk factors

Managing my carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome sometimes clears up by itself in a few months, particularly if you have it because you are pregnant.

In up to 1 in 4 cases of carpal tunnel syndrome that are not treated, symptoms go within 12 months or so. There are some steps you can take to help relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing, and several further treatment options that can be discussed further with your GP.

Wear a wrist splint

A wrist splint is something you wear on your hand to keep your wrist straight. It helps to relieve pressure on the nerve.

You wear it at night while you sleep. You'll have to wear a splint for at least 4 weeks before you start to feel better.

You can buy wrist splints online or from pharmacies.

Stop or cut down on things that may be causing it

Stop or cut down on anything that causes you to frequently bend your wrist or grip hard, such as using vibrating tools for work or playing an instrument. If you are overweight, losing some weight may help your symptoms. You can find out more on healthy living here

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is part of a more general medical condition (such as arthritis) then treatment of that condition may help your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.


Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen may offer short-term relief from carpal tunnel pain. However, there's little evidence to suggest they can treat the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome so it's important not to rely on them.

Alternative treatment

There is a small amount of evidence to suggest hand exercises, yoga and acupuncture help ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Not treating may be an option

In about 2 in 3 cases that develop during pregnancy, the symptoms go after the baby is born. So, not treating is an option, particularly if symptoms are mild. The situation can be reviewed if symptoms become any worse.

Further treatment from a specialist

What treatment is best for me?

Videos about carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Explained in a Minute | Uploaded 23 August 2010

Support for managing my carpal tunnel syndrome

Please click the icons below for more support with managing your condition

Self-help and daily living from Versus Arthritis

Carpal tunnel syndrome A-Z from The Brain Charity