Are you feeling tingling how to make a wrist splint for carpal tunnel or numbness in your hand?
Are you facing these symptoms for several months, or has gotten worse with time. If so, then you might be facing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Moreover, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway encircled by bones and ligaments located on the palm’s palm side.
A person might face these symptoms that include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand when the nerve is compressed.
Also, this happens when your wrist’s nerve is pinched. This usually occurs due to typical everyday activity, the regular use of vibrating components, and the musical instrument’s use.
Besides, there is also some discussion over getting this syndrome by frequent typing or computer use.
There are various reliefs of these syndromes; however, one of the best reliefs is wearing a sprint on your wrist. By keeping the wrist straight, the pressure on the median nerve reduces.
If you are confused about how to make a wrist splint for carpal tunnel, then here, we will explain to you step by step complete guide.
What is Wrist Splint for Carpal Tunnel
A wrist splint for carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical device that is designed to provide support and immobilization to the wrist joint in order to alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the wrist and hand, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel in the wrist, becomes compressed or irritated.
A wrist splint for carpal tunnel syndrome typically consists of a rigid or semi-rigid brace that wraps around the wrist and hand, and is secured with straps or fasteners. It is usually worn during periods of rest or sleep, when symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome tend to be worse. The splint helps to keep the wrist in a neutral position, which can relieve pressure on the median nerve and reduce symptoms.
Wrist splints for carpal tunnel syndrome may come in various designs, such as dorsal splints that support the back of the hand and wrist, or volar splints that support the palm side of the hand and wrist. They may also have additional features, such as adjustable straps, cushioning, or ventilation, for improved comfort and fit.
How to Make a Wrist Splint for Carpal Tunnel
Creating a wrist splint for carpal tunnel syndrome can help alleviate symptoms by providing support and immobilizing the wrist during rest and sleep. Here’s a simple method to make a wrist splint at home using materials you might have on hand:
A rigid material: You can use a stiff piece of cardboard, a plastic binder cover, or even a plastic cutting board. Ensure it’s long enough to support your wrist and forearm.
Soft padding: Soft materials like cotton padding, a small towel, or a washcloth.
Tape or adhesive: Medical tape, sports tape, or even duct tape can be used.
Steps to Make a Wrist Splint:
Measure and Cut:
Measure the length from your palm to your forearm, ensuring the splint covers your wrist and part of your forearm.
Cut the rigid material to the desired length. It should be wide enough to cover the palm and wrist area comfortably.
Pad the Splint:
Place the soft padding (cotton padding, a small towel, or a folded washcloth) on one side of the rigid material. This padding will provide cushioning and comfort for your wrist.
Make sure the padding is centered along the length of the splint.
Position Your Wrist:
Hold your wrist in a neutral position, with your hand in line with your forearm (not flexed or extended).
While maintaining this position, place your wrist on top of the padded side of the splint.
Secure the Splint:
Carefully wrap the tape around your wrist and the splint to hold it in place. Ensure it’s snug but not too tight to restrict blood flow.
Start by taping the splint to your palm, then wrap the tape around your wrist and up your forearm, securing the splint in place.
Check for Comfort and Fit:
Make sure the splint is not too tight or too loose. You should be able to move your fingers freely and comfortably.
Adjust the tape if necessary to achieve a snug but comfortable fit.
Trim Excess Tape:
Trim any excess tape with scissors for a neater appearance.
Remember that a homemade wrist splint is a temporary solution and should not replace professional medical advice. If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome or if your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. They may recommend a custom-made or over-the-counter wrist splint and other interventions tailored to your specific condition.
How Do Wrist Splints or Braces Help With Carpal Tunnel?
Wrist splints or braces can be effective in managing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) by providing support and immobilization to the wrist. Here’s how they help:
Immobilization: Wrist splints or braces are designed to keep the wrist in a neutral position, which means it’s not bent or extended. This immobilization minimizes movement of the wrist joint during activities, especially during sleep, when many people unknowingly flex or extend their wrists. By preventing these movements, splints reduce the compression and irritation of the median nerve that occurs when the wrist is in awkward positions, which is a common cause of CTS symptoms.
Reduction of Pressure: In CTS, the median nerve becomes compressed or pinched within the carpal tunnel—a narrow passage in the wrist formed by the bones and ligaments. By keeping the wrist in a neutral position, splints help reduce the pressure on the median nerve, alleviating symptoms like pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
Pain Relief: The primary goal of using a wrist splint is to relieve pain and discomfort associated with CTS. By stabilizing the wrist and reducing pressure on the nerve, splints can significantly reduce pain, especially when worn consistently, such as during sleep or repetitive hand activities.
Improved Function: Wearing a wrist splint can help individuals maintain better hand and wrist function during daily activities. It can make it easier to perform tasks that may otherwise exacerbate CTS symptoms.
Preventing Worsening of Symptoms: CTS symptoms often worsen over time if not addressed. Wrist splints can help prevent the progression of the condition and may even lead to symptom improvement in some cases.
Non-Invasive Treatment: Splints offer a non-invasive and conservative treatment option for CTS. They are a relatively low-risk intervention compared to surgical options and medications.
It’s important to note that wrist splints are typically recommended for mild to moderate cases of CTS or as a first-line treatment. More severe cases may require additional interventions, such as corticosteroid injections or surgery.
When using a wrist splint for CTS, it’s crucial to:
1. Ensure the splint is properly fitted and comfortable.
2. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding when and how long to wear the splint.
3. Continue to follow any other treatment or lifestyle modifications recommended by your healthcare provider, such as exercises, ergonomic changes, and activity modifications.
If you suspect you have CTS or are experiencing symptoms like wrist pain, numbness, or tingling in your hand and fingers, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. They can help you determine if a wrist splint is appropriate for your condition and provide guidance on its use.
What to Look For in Carpal Tunnel Braces
When looking for a carpal tunnel brace or wrist splint, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you choose the right one for your needs. Here are key things to look for when selecting a carpal tunnel brace:
Comfort and Fit:
The brace should fit comfortably on your wrist and hand without causing excessive pressure or discomfort.
Look for adjustable straps or closures to customize the fit to your wrist size.
Consider a breathable and soft lining to prevent skin irritation during prolonged wear.
Design and Style:
Choose a brace that suits your lifestyle and preferences. There are various styles, including open-palm, closed-palm, and fingerless options.
Some braces are designed for nighttime use (night splints) and may have a different shape or level of support than daytime braces.
Ensure the brace provides adequate wrist immobilization by keeping your wrist in a neutral position (neither flexed nor extended). This minimizes pressure on the median nerve.
Look for a brace with a rigid or semi-rigid splint that supports the wrist effectively.
Adjustable straps or closures allow you to customize the level of support and comfort, making it easier to achieve the proper fit.
High-quality, durable materials ensure that the brace lasts longer and provides consistent support.
Some braces use breathable and moisture-wicking materials to enhance comfort, especially during extended wear.
Ease of Application:
Choose a brace that is easy to put on and take off by yourself. This is particularly important if you plan to wear it regularly.
Ease of Cleaning:
Look for a brace that is easy to clean and maintain to prevent odors and skin irritation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome or another wrist condition, consult your healthcare provider for recommendations on the type of brace that would best suit your specific needs.
Warranty and Return Policy:
Check the manufacturer’s warranty and return policy in case the brace doesn’t meet your expectations or requires replacement due to defects.
Reviews and Recommendations:
Read product reviews and seek recommendations from people who have used the brace for carpal tunnel syndrome. They can provide valuable insights into the brace’s effectiveness and comfort.
Price can vary significantly depending on the brand and features. Consider your budget while also prioritizing the quality and effectiveness of the brace.
Remember that a wrist brace is just one component of managing carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include exercises, ergonomic adjustments, and lifestyle modifications in addition to wearing a brace. Your healthcare provider can also offer guidance on choosing the right type of brace for your specific condition.
How Long Should You Wear a Carpal Tunnel Brace?
The duration for wearing a carpal tunnel brace can vary depending on the severity of your symptoms, your healthcare provider’s recommendations, and your individual needs. Here are some general guidelines:
Nighttime Use: Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) wear a brace primarily at night. Wearing a brace during sleep helps prevent wrist flexion or extension, which can exacerbate symptoms and cause discomfort during the night. Nighttime use is especially common because CTS symptoms often worsen during sleep due to involuntary wrist movements.
Daytime Use: If your symptoms are severe or if your job or daily activities involve repetitive hand or wrist movements that worsen your CTS, you may be advised to wear a brace during the day as well. Daytime use can provide additional support and protection.
As Directed by Your Healthcare Provider: Always follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding when and how long to wear a carpal tunnel brace. They will consider the severity of your condition and tailor their advice to your specific needs.
Gradual Reduction: In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend gradually reducing the amount of time you wear the brace as your symptoms improve. This reduction in brace usage typically occurs under their guidance.
Consistency: For the brace to be effective, it’s important to wear it consistently as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Skipping nights or days without wearing the brace may hinder your progress in managing CTS symptoms.
Regular Follow-Up: Your healthcare provider may schedule regular follow-up appointments to assess your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan, including the use of the brace.
Long-Term Use: Some individuals with chronic or recurrent CTS may need to wear a brace for an extended period or as a preventive measure, especially if they have risk factors that make them more prone to developing CTS.
Remember that wearing a brace is just one aspect of managing carpal tunnel syndrome. It should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include:
Hand and wrist exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles and tendons.
Ergonomic adjustments in your workspace or daily activities to reduce strain on the wrist.
Lifestyle modifications, such as taking breaks from repetitive activities and maintaining proper wrist alignment.
Medications or corticosteroid injections if recommended by your healthcare provider.
In severe cases or when conservative treatments are not effective, surgical intervention may be considered.
How Tight Should a Wrist Brace Be for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The tightness of a wrist brace for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) should be adjusted to provide support and immobilization without causing discomfort or impeding blood circulation. Here are some guidelines to help you determine the appropriate tightness:
Snug Fit, Not Constricting: The brace should fit snugly around your wrist and hand but should not be so tight that it feels constricting or causes pain. It should provide support while allowing for some freedom of movement, particularly in the fingers.
Neutral Wrist Position: Ensure that the brace holds your wrist in a neutral position, meaning your wrist is not bent or extended. This position helps reduce pressure on the median nerve, which is the primary goal of using a brace for CTS.
Adequate Support: The brace should provide enough support to prevent excessive flexion (bending) or extension (arching) of the wrist. It should help maintain the wrist in a straight or slightly extended position to minimize pressure on the carpal tunnel.
Fingers Movement: You should be able to move your fingers comfortably while wearing the brace. If the brace is too tight or restrictive, it can limit finger mobility and make it challenging to perform everyday tasks.
Check for Signs of Poor Fit: Pay attention to any signs of a poor fit, such as numbness or tingling in the fingers, changes in skin color, or pain. These symptoms may indicate that the brace is too tight and may be affecting blood circulation or nerve function.
Adjustability: Look for a wrist brace with adjustable straps or closures. This feature allows you to customize the fit to your wrist size and comfort level.
Consult a Healthcare Provider: If you’re unsure about the tightness of the brace or if you’re experiencing discomfort while wearing it, consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on proper fitting and may recommend adjustments or a different type of brace.
Keep in mind that the primary purpose of a wrist brace for CTS is to provide support and immobilization to relieve symptoms. If the brace is too tight or uncomfortable, it may not be as effective, and it can lead to other issues.
Using Kinesiology Tape
The first method shows how to make a wrist splint by using the Kinesiology tape. Plus, the arm can be wrapped by this tape using the following steps:
Measure the tape from the middle fingers to the bend of your elbow. Fold 1-inch of one end of the tape and make two triangle holes in it by using scissors.
Hence, by the unfolding of the tape, there are two triangle holes made.
Put your two middle fingers in the two holes made, holding your arm in front of you and palm upwards. Make sure the sticky side of the is facing your palm side.
You may require a third person for this step. While fully extending the arm, take the backing off the rest of the tape to stick it to your arm completely. The tape at the palm side must be bent according to your palm.
Cut the same second piece of the tape, including the two triangle holes in it.
The middle two fingers are going through the two holes; however, this time, the tape is for the back of your arm. Therefore, the arm is required to be palm down.
Once again, fully extend your arm; however, this time, the palm is facing downwards.
Moreover, slowly remove the tape’s backing and stick it firmly to your arm while the palm is facing downward. Make sure you don’t apply any tension while sticking the tape to your arm.
You need a third piece of tape for your arm. Cut the third piece of tape of the same size as the other two pieces; however, there will be no holes cut into it for your fingers.
When it’s cut to the right length, remove the tape’s backing to get the adhesive side of the tape.
Now you need to apply the third piece of tape to your arm. To do that, you need to hold your arm in front of you.
While the palm is facing upward, you need to extend your arm fully. This piece is for the middle part of your wrist.
At the bottom of your arm, place the middle part of the tape on your wrist. This tape will also cover a piece of your palm due to its wide length.
Now, slowly remove the backing of the tape from one side and stick it to your arm. Also, the same is done on the second side.
No tension must be applied to the tape while sticking it to your arm and removing the backing. Furthermore, both tape ends must cross over each other on your arm’s backside due to the angle of your hand.
The wrist is completely wrapped in the tape. Now, it is time to check whether the tape allows full movement to your hand and wrist or not. If not, you may have wrapped it UN-properly.
Additionally, this wrist splint pulls open the carpal tunnel and reduces the pressure on the median nerve. Besides, we are required to not apply any additional pressure to the wrist and arm.
Therefore, while sticking the tape to the arm, we did not apply the pressure.
Using Sports Tape
If you are looking for other methods on how to make a wrist splint for carpal tunnel other than using the kinesiology tape, here is one for you.
For the making of a wrist splint, we can also use rigid sports tape. Here are the following steps for using it for carpal tunnel relief.
A 38mm wide, adhesive, and rigid tape is required. While using these tapes, a hypoallergenic underlay tape must also be used to prevent skin irritation.
Also, you need to remove the hair from the wrist area and the back of your hand for less pain.
Moreover, this tape is used to prevent the movement of your wrist. Apart from that, you are required to wash your hand and wrist properly before applying this tape.
The first piece of the tape will wrap around your wrist; however, the other piece will wrap around the palm and the back of your hand.
Afterward, wrap the two pieces of tape as it looks like an X on the back of your hand while holding the hand on a neutral axis.
Moreover, you need to remove the tape in less than 48 hours using scissors or any other way, which is easier for you.
Q: What materials do I need to make a wrist splint for carpal tunnel?
A: You will need a sheet of thermoplastic material, such as orthoplast or thermoplastic elastomer, padding material such as foam, and straps or fasteners to secure the splint in place.
Q: How do I mold the thermoplastic material to my wrist?
A: You can use a heat gun or hot water to soften the thermoplastic material, and then mold it to your wrist by wrapping it around your wrist and pressing down on it to create a custom fit.
Q: How long should I wear the wrist splint?
A: It is recommended to wear the wrist splint continuously for 4-6 weeks to allow for proper healing and to reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Q: Can I wear the wrist splint at night?
A: Yes, wearing the wrist splint at night can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage while sleeping.
Q: Can I still perform daily activities while wearing the wrist splint?
A: Yes, you can still perform most daily activities while wearing the wrist splint, but it may limit the mobility of your wrist and hand.
Q: How do I clean the wrist splint?
A: You can clean the wrist splint with mild soap and water, and then let it air dry. Avoid using harsh chemicals or exposing it to high temperatures.
Q: When should I see a doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome?
A: If your symptoms persist or worsen despite using a wrist splint or other conservative treatments, or if you experience severe pain, weakness, or numbness in your hand, it is recommended to see a doctor for further evaluation and possible treatment.
Lastly, keeping for your ease and the fact that you may not be able to buy this wrist splint, and also, it may be costly for you; therefore, we have provided the method for how to make a wrist splint for the carpal tunnel at home.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is painful. However, these wrist splints may help you get relief from it.
These are the two easiest homemade wrist splints for reducing the pain. However, if the pain continues to grow, then you should consult a doctor.
We hope you get recovery very soon and start enjoying life again.