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How to Recover From Carpal Tunnel Surgery

By Ashley Delmar 

If you're awaiting carpal tunnel surgery, you probably know you've got some hard work ahead of you before you make a full return to a normal routine. It can take several months to fully heal from carpal tunnel surgery, and up to a year or more to start feeling back to normal. With such a wide range in recovery times, it's important to have a plan in place to ensure a smooth road to back to health.

Have a Care Plan In Place

You will likely be extremely sore immediately following your surgery and will need to keep your hand in a splint or heavy bandaging for up to two weeks. Post-operative pain combined with limited mobility from your bandaging means that you'll probably find it hard to perform certain self-care tasks like basic grooming and cooking in the days and weeks following your surgery. Arranging to stay with someone a friend or family member who can help care for you will you regain strength after your surgery will be a huge benefit in your recovery. If you aren't able to arrange to stay with anyone, preparing a few days' worth of meals before your surgery and having a plan for caring your essential self-care tasks will make the days after your surgery easier. 

Expect Some Stiffness 

Once your bandages are finally off and you've been given the green light to return to work, you might be surprised at the amount post-operative stiffness you experience. Although post-operative stiffness can be painful, moving your wrist to regain strength and flexibility is important in preventing long term pain. Simple exercises like wrist circles and using your opposite hand to stretch your affected wrist to either side can go a long way in relieving pain and regaining a normal range of motion. 

Don't Rush 

As mentioned above, experiencing some pain after carpal tunnel surgery is to be expected. It's important to allow your body sufficient time to heal, which means not rushing back into activities that could be hard on your wrist. Discontinue any activities that cause severe pain and let your surgeon know if your pain, numbness, or wrist stiffness don't seem to be getting better. Remember that wrist pain will likely subside in time but taking the necessary precautions to ensure a problem-free recovery is a key part in your return to health. 

In addition to the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel surgery often brings with it a host of other forms of aches, pains, and stiffness. Despite the pain, having a realistic post-operative care plan in place, taking time to work on wrist flexibility, and giving yourself the time you need for an effective recovery are all ways to establish a pain-free future and healthy joints. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Henderson, Nev. 

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