If your hand falls asleep at night from a wrist brace for your carpal tunnel syndrome, there’s a cause & solution, straight from a carpal tunnel doctor.
Wrist Brace for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome May Cause Hand to Fall Asleep Overnight
“A wrist splint or brace is often prescribed for use at night with mild or early carpal tunnel syndrome,” says John-Paul H. Rue, MD, orthopedic sports medicine surgeon with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
Reason for the Brace
Dr. Rue explains, “The purpose of the splint is to maintain the wrist in a neutral position, keeping the carpal tunnel as wide open as possible to minimize the pressure on the median nerve.”
Why can the wrist brace or splint cause your hand to get numb or fall asleep?
“If you are still having symptoms while wearing the braces at night, including the feeling of your hands falling asleep, this could be from improper fit or type of splint, causing improper positioning of the wrist in flexion or placing added pressure on the carpal tunnel,” says Dr. Rue.
“It could also simply reflect the more advanced condition of your carpal tunnel syndrome.
“Once the condition has progressed to a certain amount of swelling or pressure on or within the nerve, night splints may no longer be effective and you may need to consider additional evaluation and treatments.”
Don’t just put up with that “falling asleep” or numb tingly feeling in your hand and fingers. The solution may be as simple as getting fitted with a better brace or splint.
Another possibility is that the brace is too tight.
If these adjustments regarding the wrist brace don’t correct the problem, tell your doctor with the idea that an additional assessment and further treatment may be necessary.
Dr. Rue specializes in prevention and treatment of sports and exercise injuries. His primary focuses are knee, shoulder and elbow injuries including ACL and cartilage injuries, rotator cuff injuries and overuse tendonitis.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.