Carpal Tunnel is on the rise, for a couple of reasons. Obesity is a huge risk factor for carpal tunnel, so as Americans become more and more overweight, carpal tunnel plagues those who succumb to the obesity epidemic. Additionally, people are tied to their electronic devices – whether they’re typing away on their laptop, or texting with their thumbs, leaving them at risk for developing the painful condition. Luckily, platelet-rich plasma therapy is available to sufferers, allowing them to regain full use of the affected area faster than ever before.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Nerves send signals throughout your body. When everything is going well, you don’t notice – but when something goes wrong, they let you know. You may feel tingling, or deep pain, depending on the area and the injury to the nerve.
In those suffering from carpal tunnel, the median nerve becomes compressed around the wrist area, causing numbness to the top half of the hand. They may also feel pain in the area, especially at night. Additionally, the wrist and hand are often weakened from the lack of sensation.
Traditionally, people with carpal tunnel were provided a splint, advised to rest the affected area as much as possible, and to utilize NSAID pain relievers as necessary. Sometimes, doctors recommend cortisol injections or surgery. More recently, the benefits of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies have been recognized for the treatment of carpal tunnel.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is a non-invasive procedure that can help reduce pain and heal injuries to most areas within the body. Platelets – the part of blood that heals your body – are taken from the patient’s blood, separated out by a centrifuge. This concentrated healing agent is then injected into the affected area, where the platelets can do their job. The low-risk, high-reward treatment is being used across the nation, and it shows some promising results in the treatment of carpal tunnel.
How does PRP treat Carpal Tunnel?
In 2017, Scientific Reports published the results of a six-month trial, in which 60 patients with carpal tunnel were studied. Half of the patients received PRP therapy, while half were treated conservatively with a splint to wear at night. Those treated with PRP injections showed remarkable improvements in comparison to their counterparts after six months of treatment. This study proves the effectiveness of short-term treatment of carpal tunnel.
Researchers are currently recruiting for studies on carpal tunnel and the sustained effectiveness of PRP therapies.
While we look ahead to studies regarding the long-term treatment of carpal tunnel using PRP therapies, we can anecdotally provide information regarding the results seen in patients who find extended relief from symptoms.
If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel, talk with your doctor about potential treatment options. They may recommend a more conservative approach if your symptoms are mild, including rest, the use of a splint, and NSAIDS to reduce swelling. However, you may be a candidate for PRP therapy, which could greatly reduce your healing time.
Contact us at (847)519-4701 to make your appointment.