Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) was once a condition mainly exhibited by those working within the manual labor sector where repetitive movements placed stress on the median nerve within the wrist. With increased automation, and the recent decrease in this type of employment, it would’ve been a natural assumption that the incidence of CTS would reduce. However, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, the number of reported cases has actually increased over the last two decades.
Despite this seemingly gloomy information, there’s good news!
Using a carpal tunnel brace not only reduces or eliminates the symptoms of CTS, but it can also prevent its occurrence in the first place and allow you to participate in the activities that you enjoy. Whilst this article shouldn’t replace advice given by your health practitioner, it can be used in addition to help you choose the best brace for your condition.
Fitted Wrist BraceClick for price
- black color
- Small/Medium size
- Sold in each
ComfortFORM Wrist BraceClick for price
- Intended for those suffering from sprains and strains, and for the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
- Durable and lightweight, making it ideal for daily movement and low-impact activities
- Includes a removable contoured aluminum palmer stay which helps control wrist flexion
Wrist BraceClick for price
- PROTECT AND STABILIZE YOUR WRIST: Stabilizing and supporting the wrist, the lightweight wrist brace by Vive provides maximum...
- REMOVABLE SPLINT FOR FLEXIBLE USE: A lightweight, durable splint stabilizes the wrist in a neutral position for optimal...
- CUSTOMIZABLE COMPRESSION THERAPY: Two adjustable straps allow you to customize the amount of compression to effectively...
AOLIKES Wrist BraceClick for price
- 【Use daily】 Help with many types of weak wrists like Arthritis, or wrist sprains for cooking, gym, and overusing of both...
- 【Simple design】 For easier way to put on and take off.
- 【Maximum strength straps】 Use the highest quality and most adhesive latching straps to prevent discomfort and constant...
What Is a Carpal Tunnel Brace?
A carpal tunnel brace is a fingerless glove which covers the entire palm/back of the hand and extends below the wrist. Its function is to provide relief from the pain of CTS. They’re easily put on and removed and therefore require no prior medical knowledge to use them.
How Does a Carpal Tunnel Brace Work?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, leading to aching, pain or numbness felt within the fingers or wrist. In many cases these symptoms can extend down the forearm, and as the condition progresses it can weaken muscles within the wrist and fingers. Not only is this condition uncomfortable and painful, it can also make day to day life extremely difficult as the sufferer finds it increasingly hard to maintain a hard grip and in some cases even pick items up.
Obesity, arthritis and repetitive work can all contribute to the occurrence of CTS. As society becomes increasingly technology based, the use of tablets, laptops and smartphones have all put a progressive strain on the median nerve, and to some extent have replaced the hard labor induced incidence of twenty years ago.
A carpal tunnel brace works by relieving pressure on the median nerve. Its structure holds the wrist in an almost horizontal position aligned with the forearm, which not only decreases stress placed on the nerve but also allows oxygen-rich blood to flow, helping it to repair itself and thus alleviate pain. As the carpal tunnel brace itself is fingerless, it doesn’t prevent the user from carrying on their normal day-to-day routines or work. There’s evidence that wearing both the carpal tunnel brace at night and also during the activity which causes stress on the wrists and fingers eases the pain and aids recovery.
Why Use a Carpal Tunnel Brace?
Anyone who has, or is, suffering from CTS fully understands the discomfort and general malaise brought on by the condition. Additionally, since CTS can also prevent the sufferer from being able to work adequately in their employment, it can affect finances and general mental health. The carpal tunnel brace offers respite from these symptoms allowing the sufferer to carry on a normal life.
Carpal Tunnel Brace vs Other Options
Carpal tunnel decompression is a surgery conducted under local anesthetic in which the transverse carpal ligament in the wrist is split. This decompresses the median nerve and theoretically relieves the pain.
Whilst this procedure has shown to assist symptoms in the short term, a 2015 study illustrated that over a period of 12–18 months, surgery had exactly the same relief as wearing a carpal tunnel brace. Hence the brace can offer an non-invasive form of relief.
Physiotherapy is sometimes utilized to provide relief from the symptoms of CTS. However it’s been shown that many months of continued therapy are required even to alleviate the symptoms of the condition slightly.
It was also recommended within the same study that that persons with the condition should refrain from aggravating the median nerve by avoiding the action thought to be causing it. In some cases, this may not be possible, especially where the aggravating action is part of a sufferer’s employment. A carpal tunnel brace can be worn at all times, allowing those with the condition to continue a normal routine.
Corticosteroids delivered as an injection can provide some relief by reducing swelling in the median nerve. However, whilst alleviating the symptoms, it seems do little to either halt or slow the advancement of the condition.
Conversely, a University of Pittsburgh study illustrated that continued use of a carpal tunnel brace resulted in a significant decrease in CTS symptoms. In addition, corticosteroids have been shown to have a significant negative effect on the central nervous system.
How to Choose the Correct Carpal Tunnel Brace
Whilst the carpal tunnel brace is a relatively small investment for something which can offer so much relief and increase general well-being, it’s important that the correct one is chosen from the onset, to ensure that it functions to its best ability and doesn’t cause any further issues. Here are the key points that should be looked at when choosing the brace itself.
Some carpal tunnel braces are available in a one-size-fits-all basis, whereas others are individually sized. For very light CTS, a universal size may be adequate.
However we recommend where possible finding a brace which fits you perfectly. If the brace is too small, then not only will wrist action be limited but also essential blood supply could be reduced to the wrist aggravating the condition further. If the brace is too large, it will offer no support at all and won’t help CTS symptoms. Most brands of carpal tunnel brace come in various sizes of small, medium and large.
The exact sizing of these braces do vary between brands, but if you check the manufacturer’s website there’s usually a sizing chart. To ensure that you find the perfect size for you, it’s essential that you take your measurements of your own wrist. Here is a video guide to show you how this can be done:
Look for carpal tunnel braces that offer breathable materials. If the brace is to be worn for long periods of time, the skin needs to be able to evaporate water from the surface, otherwise the inside of the brace will become damp with perspiration and lead to unpleasant odours.
Splint or No Splint?
Many Braces are constructed with a metal splint within the lining to ensure a firm and rigid wrist position. For nighttime use, this is ideal as the wrist doesn’t need to flex while you’re asleep.
For daytime use, this may or may not be restrictive depending on your lifestyle. Hence it’s important to consider how much flexibility you’ll need. As an added benefit, increasingly manufacturers are including removable splints allowing for the carpal tunnel brace to be customized for your own personal requirements.
Left or Right?
Although some carpal tunnel braces are universal and work great on either hand, some are specifically for the left or right. So it’s important when ordering that you ensure you’re buying one for your correct hand!
If your CTS is located mainly within your fingers and thumb, a shorter carpal tunnel brace may be sufficient. If it extends down past the wrist into the upper forearm, a longer brace is recommended to provide increased support.
Do you intend for the brace to be seen, or do you wish it to be hidden? Some braces are very sleek and can easily be concealed beneath clothing. Others are much larger and would struggle to fit underneath a work shirt for example.
What Is the Best Carpal Tunnel Brace?
Having looked at the wide variety of carpal tunnel braces available, we’ve narrowed down a top five, which in our opinion have all the requirements to make CTS no more than a distant memory! Mueller has used its 50 years of sports medicine experience to produce this carpal tunnel brace. It reduces the swelling associated with CTS giving your fingers and thumb a full range of motion. The up to date company ethos ensures that the braces are environmentally friendly, which brings peace of mind for the green consumer. Made with a soft durable outer fabric, the brace is comfortable to wear with added assurance of lasting quality and is available in either left or right hand styles. Since the 1970s DonJoy has progressed from making simple neoprene support sleeves to becoming one of the leaders in orthopedic compression braces. The DonJoy ComfortFORM is a visually striking carpal tunnel brace which looks almost robotic in appearance, yet this bold outward styling misleads slightly as the brace is very lightweight but with a firm fit. It’s available in both left and right hand specifications, extending 5 inches down the arm. A fully adjustable, universal-sized compression brace available for either left or right wrists. The neoprene construction allows heat to be retained within the brace to improve circulation, whilst allowing the skin to breathe and prevent odors. With an ergonomic design to provide maximum support for the wrist, this brace is not only good for those with CTS but also tendonitis and arthritis. The removable aluminum splint enables you to adjust the amount of support for your exact requirements. A simple, uncomplicated one-size carpal tunnel brace. It’s ambidextrous, so can be used on either hand with the convenience of one single Velcro strap for adjustment. The fitting allows for improved circulation in the wrists and provides relief from pain and discomfort. The lightweight construction lets the brace to be worn as often as required, and is also perfect for those wishing to use it for sport.
comfortable yet durable fabric construction.
constructed with non-petroleum based products and ining from 67 percent recycled plastic bottles.
Antimicrobial treatment controls odors and ensures the brace doesn’t deteriorate through the growth of bacteria and microorganisms.
Three Way Support—offers adjustable Velcro straps for controlled compression
removable metal support bar and contoured rigid support for the top of the wrist
Available in different sizes to ensure the perfect fit for the wrist can be achieved.
Sleek design enabling you to wear it beneath clothes.
Must be hand washed (not machine) in cool water.
Firm support with three anchored Velcro straps for the wrist.
Removable aluminum splint for increased support as and when required.
Available in 5 different sizes—customers recommend you buy a size up.
Breathable material for added comfort.
Long wrist support of 5 inches for those suffering with CTS below the wrist.
Customers complained that the straps are too long and have to be cut to prevent them from hanging loose.
The imposing robotic look of the brace maybe off-putting for some who wish to hide the brace away.
Easy fitting with two Velcro straps.
A very reasonable price for a versatile product.
Once fitted keeps firm tension on the wrist area.
Reinforced with aluminum strip for increased strength.
Pleasant aroma even during continued day/night wearing.
Although it’s stated there are two sizes available
it’s only possible to order one universal size.
Customers have complained that it is unsuitable for those with smaller hands
the Velcro straps being too short to allow for a compressed fit.
low-profile and inconspicuous
unseen and fits easily under clothing.
The one size fits all approach makes ordering simple and is easily adjusted with the fitting straps.
Includes a removable aluminum bar for added support.
A great budget price.
Extends 4 inches below the wrist which provides excellent support for those with CTS in the upper forearm area.
The universal sizing doesn’t offer the perfect fit which may be required.
Many customers complain of an unpleasant odor from the brace even after washing.
Mueller has used its 50 years of sports medicine experience to produce this carpal tunnel brace. It reduces the swelling associated with CTS giving your fingers and thumb a full range of motion. The up to date company ethos ensures that the braces are environmentally friendly, which brings peace of mind for the green consumer.
Made with a soft durable outer fabric, the brace is comfortable to wear with added assurance of lasting quality and is available in either left or right hand styles.
Since the 1970s DonJoy has progressed from making simple neoprene support sleeves to becoming one of the leaders in orthopedic compression braces.
The DonJoy ComfortFORM is a visually striking carpal tunnel brace which looks almost robotic in appearance, yet this bold outward styling misleads slightly as the brace is very lightweight but with a firm fit. It’s available in both left and right hand specifications, extending 5 inches down the arm.
A fully adjustable, universal-sized compression brace available for either left or right wrists. The neoprene construction allows heat to be retained within the brace to improve circulation, whilst allowing the skin to breathe and prevent odors.
With an ergonomic design to provide maximum support for the wrist, this brace is not only good for those with CTS but also tendonitis and arthritis. The removable aluminum splint enables you to adjust the amount of support for your exact requirements.
A simple, uncomplicated one-size carpal tunnel brace. It’s ambidextrous, so can be used on either hand with the convenience of one single Velcro strap for adjustment. The fitting allows for improved circulation in the wrists and provides relief from pain and discomfort. The lightweight construction lets the brace to be worn as often as required, and is also perfect for those wishing to use it for sport.
The Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace is our choice for the best carpal tunnel brace. It combines compression and rigidity with a slim design, meaning it can be worn on any occasion but still provide the strength required to ease the suffering of carpal tunnel syndrome.
With both left and right options and different sizes, the brace can be tailored to fit your arm perfectly and remain in place all day long and the microbial treated fabric ensures that you’ll have the confidence to be odour free all day. It’s customizable with its removable aluminum bar, giving you the support as and when required.
All this and the added bonus that it’s the most environmentally friendly of all the braces! Good luck, and here’s to years of pain-free wrists!