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Tips For Wearing a Wrist Splint

Tips For Wearing a Wrist Splint

Wearing a wrist splint to help reduce the symptoms and effects of repetitive strain injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be rather beneficial for many people with mild to moderate cases of the condition. This is particularly true for those who have just recently been diagnosed with CTS, or some other type of cumulative trauma disorder, and also for those who have only had noticeable symptoms for the past three months or less; for long term symptoms further medical intervention such as steroid treatments or surgery may then be necessary.

Many people diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome must wear wrist splints on a regular basis to reduce the pressure on the area that's causing their problematic symptoms to appear. The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening of space on the underside of the wrist that houses the median nerve which gives sensation and feeling to the thumb, the next two fingers, and half of the fourth or ring finger. The smallest finger is not serviced by this nerve, so if you have CTS you may have noticed the absence of symptoms here and in one half of your ring finger.

Choosing the Right Wrist Splint

A wrist splint is properly in place when it is snug, but not tight. Splinting the wrist in its natural, and neutral, position can be done with a custom fitted splint made by a doctor or therapist, or by using a prefabricated one bought in a store in the correct size for your wrist.

In ideal circumstances, a splint is prescribed by a doctor who has first made a correct diagnosis and has ordered the correct size and type of splint for your wrist. But, if you are purchasing one yourself without a prescription from a doctor, be sure to measure your hand and wrist before heading to the store so you'll know which size to choose.

When to Wear Your Wrist Splint

Although it's true that one may wear a wrist splint 24 hours a day if necessary, the experts do recommend limiting the time to only when absolutely needed as wearing it too much may actually have an adverse effect, making the muscles in the wrists and hands too weak instead of merely helping to keep the wrist in a stable position.

Wearing a wrist splint at night while sleeping is most ideal as it keeps it in a stable position, reducing the possibility of further injury, and also allows the muscles and tissues a chance to rest and recover from being used throughout the day. Most people do not remain in one position all night long and a splint helps to prevent the hand and wrist from turning into awkward positions.

Ask your own doctor as to how long you should wear your wrist splint during a 24 hour period and for how many weeks. Wearing a wrist splint for too long make reduce the area's range of movement and actually leave you more susceptible to repeat injuries.