A wrist splint is a brace that looks like a fingerless glove. It
stabilizes your wrist in a straight and sometimes slightly bent-back position.
Wearing a wrist splint minimizes pressure on the
median nerve and allows you a period of "relative
rest" from movements that make
carpal tunnel syndrome worse.
Think about these guidelines when you use a wrist splint:
When worn to stabilize the wrist during sleep, a
wrist splint can reduce pain and pressure on the median nerve.
wrist splint isn't a substitute for good workplace design and proper body
mechanics. Some experts advise against wearing a wrist splint while working,
because doing so can strain the hand's tendons.
A wrist splint is a
helpful short-term treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. But long-term use
can cause your muscles to weaken. During and after a period of splint use,
exercise and slowly increase your hand and wrist movements. This will help prevent
your wrist muscles from weakening.
Splints are available in pharmacies without a prescription. They are
also available by prescription from orthopedic and medical supply stores.
Physical and occupational therapists can make custom-fit splints from
lightweight materials that may be more comfortable to wear.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerHerbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCSC - Hand and Microvascular Surgery