Women are three times as likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men, and it usually occurs only in adults. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and forearm. But does carpal tunnel go away on its own? Let’s dive in.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on a nerve in your wrist. The actual pressure can have no specific cause but there are a range of contributing factors, including:
- Frequent and repetitive small movements
- Repetitive grasping
- Joint or bone disease
- Hormonal changes (e.g. menopause or pregnancy)
- Family history of carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel is one of the most common hand conditions that require surgery. Sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome often report a feeling of “pins and needles” in the fingers, pain in one or both hands, weakness in the hands, swelling, and burning. Several conditions can affect the hands and wrist, like trigger finger and Dupuytren’s contracture.
Does Carpal Tunnel Go Away by Itself?
Once you start to experience carpal tunnel syndrome and become aware of the symptoms, it’s unlikely to go away on its own without any treatment at all. If the condition is very mild, it may go away on its own but with rest. If you don’t adjust any activities or start treatment, it’s unlikely to resolve on its own.
So, the next question is, does carpal tunnel go away without surgery?
The answer depends on the severity of the condition. The good news is that a lot of people with carpal tunnel syndrome notice improvements without surgery. Often, the first line of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome includes a non-surgical approach. This could be wearing a wrist splint, especially at night, to help you sleep with carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can get worse at night, and wearing a splint can help to keep the wrist straight while you sleep.
When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, it’s not that surgery is your only option. In early or more mild cases, conservative treatments, like hand therapy, stretching, and modifying certain behaviours can be beneficial.
If carpal tunnel syndrome is left untreated, it can get worse and even lead to permanent nerve damage and other issues. In cases where the condition isn’t improving after initial treatment, then your doctor may recommend carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
While carpal tunnel syndrome can go away without surgery, it doesn’t tend to go away on its own without any action or treatment. It’s important that you speak to your doctor if you notice symptoms as mild or early cases tend to respond well to more conservative treatments.
If you’re experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome or your symptoms are getting worse, then surgery may be an option. It’s important to seek help as soon as possible to avoid potentially permanent nerve damage.
The Harley Clinic offers a range of hand and upper limb treatments, including carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and De Quervain syndrome surgery. Book a consultation today to talk through your treatment options.