Ask Dr. Josh Smith which patient issue he sees most frequently as an orthopedic surgeon and he’ll answer you quickly – carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dr. Smith, who practices at OrthoCarolina Boone, Hickory and Lincolnton recently sat down with Hal Row of WHKY Hickory talk radio to discuss his training and the conditions he sees frequently like carpal tunnel and overuse injuries in young athletes.
Listen to the full interview below and keep reading to learn Dr. Smith’s recommendation for at-home carpal tunnel care you can try before visiting your orthopedist.
Carpal Tunnel: Causes & Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition often associated with overuse and repetitive activity. Patients can experience their hand falling asleep, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. The condition is caused by the compression of a nerve that lives in the palm.
Treatment Options: You Can Try This at Home
Dr. Smith starts with non-operative treatment options first.
“We do whatever we can to help patients out. Surgery isn’t always the first thing you jump to,” Dr. Smith says. “For most things you try some non-operative options first whether that’s medications, injections or physical therapy.”
If these options are exhausted without improvement, the patient becomes a candidate for surgery.
“If you even suspect you have carpal tunnel one of the easiest things you can do at home is buy a simple pair of wrist splints that hold your wrist in the same position, preventing it from moving, and wear those at night to see if they help,” Dr. Smith says.
For acute orthopedic injuries after scheduled clinic and urgent care hours, please utilize the HURT! App, in partnership with OrthoCarolina, for fast free access to orthopedic advice with a response time of ~4 minutes. Download here.