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.
- A 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.
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Herbert von Schroeder, MD, MSc, FRCS(C) - Orthopedics, Hand and Microvascular Surgery
Current as ofNovember 29, 2017
Current as of: November 29, 2017