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For those with carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist brace may be a useful tool in reducing pain and managing symptoms.
- Best universally sized neoprene option: Vive
- Best breathable, nonrestrictive mesh material: BraceUP
- Best eco-friendly model: Mueller
- Best copper-lined neoprene nylon blend: Doctor Arthritis
- Best four-size polyester, rubber, and nylon blend: Actesso
- Best fingerless, copper-infused nylon gloves: Copper Compression
- Best Velcro wrist strap with latex-free foam pads: M Brace
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
How a brace may help
Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome should consider wearing a wrist brace when they have a flare-up or when they are partaking in activities that require prolonged use of the hands.
Some people may wish to consider wearing a brace during sleep, as it is more likely to bend the wrist while sleeping.
A person may wish to consider the following when looking for a wrist brace:
- Size: Some wrist braces are suitable for a specific hand size, while other ones have a more universal fit.
- Material: Individuals may find different materials more comfortable than other ones, and they should consider that they may wear the brace for long periods of time. A breathable, durable fabric my provide greater comfort.
- Type: Some braces are in the style of gloves, and some restrict the hands or finger movements more than other kinds. A person’s choice will depend on the activities they are performing.
The list below comprises a range of different brands featuring various brace materials, styles, and prices.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
All pricing information is correct at the time of publishing.
This wrist brace from Vive is available in three colors and comes in a universal size. It is made from thick neoprene and retains heat to help with blood flow. The company claims the neoprene is breathable.
The brace has two adjustable straps with extra-strength fasteners, and the composite splint is removable. The manufacturer states the brace is also useful for those with tendinitis, repetitive stress injury, post-surgery support, sprains, and strains.
The Vive wrist brace is available to purchase online for around $15.
This brace is available in two sizes, and people can choose between the right or left wrist. It uses a breathable mesh material, and the removable, lightweight splint is aluminum.
There are three adjustable straps, and the manufacturer claims the brace does not restrict a person’s finger movement. It also states the brace is suitable for those with arthritis or tendinitis or those recovering from an injury.
The BraceUP brace is available to purchase online for around $12.
This wrist brace from Mueller is available for either the left or right hand. It also comes in two sizes.
This eco-friendly model uses latex-free, recycled materials that are soft, lightweight, and breathable.
There are two adjustable straps, and support remains in place with padding. The brace features an antimicrobial treatment that protects both the skin and the brace.
The Mueller wrist brace is available to purchase online for around $14.
This model is universally sized and uses a blend of neoprene and nylon. It also has copper lining. The manufacturer claims that doctors developed this model and that it has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
Despite the brand name, the company claims this wrist brace is suitable not only for those with carpal tunnel but also those with arthritis and tendinitis. The brace has a double fastening strap and nonslip support.
The Dr Arthritis wrist brace is available to purchase online for around $13.
This brace comes in four sizes, and a person can choose a left or right wrist fitting. The material is a temperature controlled blend of polyester, nylon, and rubber. It also contains latex.
For support, the brace has a curved metal splint.
The Actesso wrist brace is available to purchase online for around $17.
These copper-infused nylon gloves are fingerless, allowing for greater movement. The copper infusion gives the product an extended lifetime.
The gloves come in four sizes. Also, the company claims individuals can wear the gloves all day, as they have flexible, moisture-wicking fabric and are nonslip.
This product may also benefit individuals with arthritis, tendinitis, or stiff or sore muscles, tendons, or joints.
The Copper Compression support gloves are available to purchase online for around $28.
The M Brace has a slightly different design than a traditional wrist brace. It wraps around the wrist, similarly to a watch. Thanks to this design, the brace does not limit hand or finger movement. The company also claims the design relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
This plastic product has a Velcro strap and two latex-free foam pads, and it comes in two sizes. The manufacturer says it is suitable for day and night use. However, it does not specify whether the brace is appropriate for other medical conditions.
The M Brace wrist support is available to purchase online for around $25.
A person should consider consulting a doctor if they think they may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Some common symptoms include:
- pain or numbness in the fingers, hand, and arm
- tingling or pins and needles in the hands and fingers
- a weak thumb
- poor grip resulting in frequently dropping things
Symptoms can worsen during sleep time, and an individual may notice them intermittently.
Here, we answer some commonly asked questions.
Does a brace help with pain?
Braces may help ease pain, as they keep the wrist straight. This in turn can relieve pressure on the median nerve, which, when compressed, can cause pain, numbness, and tingling.
How long should I wear a carpal tunnel brace?
A 2020 study found that individuals who wore a wrist brace for approximately 6 weeks experienced fewer symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, the same study found no additional benefit of wearing a brace for up to 12 weeks. Authors of the study note further research is necessary to understand the reason for this.
How do braces fasten?
Braces usually have adjustable straps, but they may also slip on over the hand. They should be secure but not so tight that a person feels uncomfortable.
Can braces help with other medical conditions?
Other conditions that braces may help with include:
- sprains, strains, and fractures
- weak wrist joints
- post-surgery pain
What materials are best for a wrist brace?
This depends on personal preferences. However, it is advisable to consider lightweight, breathable materials, as a person may be wearing the brace for long periods. A breathable material will prevent odors and sweating.
Also, individuals with allergies should carefully check the composition of a brace, as some braces include materials such as latex.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may ease when a person is wearing a wrist brace. These keep the wrist in place and therefore relieve pressure on the affected median nerve.
There are various braces available on the market, and they vary in material, price, and function.
Individuals should consult a healthcare professional who can advise on the most suitable type of wrist brace and how often or for how long they should wear it.