Last updated: April 1, 2017
If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain in your wrist or hand, there is a good chance that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the easiest and most effective treatments is to wear a brace at night which keeps your wrist straight and allows it to heal from the strains of the day. This guide will help you decide on the best carpal tunnel brace for nighttime wear so you can effectively treat your carpal tunnel syndrome while still getting a good night's sleep.
Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace
Table of Contents
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when inflammation puts pressure on your median nerve, which runs through your wrist and controls your first three fingers. Although it is commonly caused by repetitive motion and stress, it can also be tied to some chronic illnesses, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most people first begin to notice symptoms at night. They can be subtle at first, with just a slight feeling of numbness or tingling. Shaking your hands can often make the feeling go away, at least for a few minutes. Unfortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome is generally a progressive disease and can get worse if not treated. Eventually, it may begin to cause severe numbness and tingling as well as pain and weakness. These symptoms can occur in one or both hands.
Wrist braces are generally the first line of defense for carpal tunnel syndrome. Although they can help during the day, most people only need them at night. Finding the best carpal tunnel brace for nighttime wear makes it easier to sleep comfortably while also protecting your wrists. Other treatment options may include switching to a more ergonomic work station, treating any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the problem, and using specific exercises to strengthen your hands and wrists.
If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it is a good idea to talk about it with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Even the best wrist brace may not be able to help if you're dealing with a different condition.
How To Choose the Best Carpal Tunnel Brace for Nighttime
Since everyone's wrists are different, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The most important factor is comfort. If your brace chafes you during the night, you're less likely to wear it. After all, it can't do you any good if it's sitting in your closet. The best wrist brace is one that is soft and comfortable enough to suit your tastes, yet thick or rigid enough to keep your wrist straight.
Be sure to consider how you're planning on wearing your brace. Braces designed for nighttime tend to be thicker and provide more coverage than many designed for daytime wear since you're more likely to twist or bend your wrist without realizing it in your sleep. However, there are some versatile models that can be used during the day and at night.
When you're deciding which brace is right for you, start by reading wrist brace reviews like the ones contained in the next section of this guide. Look for features that are important to you such as thickness or material.
- An antimicrobial treatment to reduce odors
- Two adjustable straps to provide a custom fit
- Recycled and non-petroleum-based construction to help protect the environment
Mueller is a well known creator of high-quality sports medicine products, so choosing the best wrist brace among their products can be difficult. One top contender is the Mueller Green Line 86271.
This brace has a bit of a bulky look due to the added cushioning, but the solid black color is discreet and helps hide any stains or discoloration. This brace contains rigid metal stabilizers and a palm plate, but the flexible material and soft interior lining helps prevent chafing and lets you move your wrist enough to perform most everyday tasks. The antimicrobial materials help prevent rapid breakdown due to normal bacteria, so this wrist brace tends to last a long time. It is also made from highly breathable material, so you don't have to worry about an uncomfortably sweaty wrist when you wake up in the morning.
Unlike some other braces, this brace uses two large, thick straps to provide a more stable fit. The hook-and-loop closure is easy to put on one-handed, and the low-profile design allows for full use of your fingers so you can wear it during the day as well.
The lining of this brace is green, both in color and in ethics, as it is made from 67 percent recycled PET materials to help keep waste out of the landfill. The binding also contains 73 percent recycled content for extra sustainability.
Copper Compression Recovery Wrist Sleeve
- High copper content to encourage circulation
- Reversible design so you can wear them on either hand
- Greater freedom of movement than many traditional braces
These wrist sleeves work a bit differently than the typical rigid stabilizer brace which can help if you have have sensitive skin. They rely on both compression and copper to help minimize movement in your wrist while potentially increasing blood flow.
Many people who wear these wrist braces report feeling immediate pain relief due to the compression; this can reduce swelling more quickly than traditional braces. The drawback is that these can be a risky choice for nighttime wear, especially if you are a restless sleeper, because they do allow more wrist movement than a more rigid brace. However, for mild cases or for more peaceful sleepers, the compression action typically provides enough support and restriction to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
The guaranteed copper content also helps these sleeves stand out. Copper has a long history of medicinal use although science is still studying its effectiveness. Some researchers theorize that these support devices help by allowing the skin to absorb tiny amounts of copper. Since the copper absorbs directly into the injured tissues, there is more immediate and targeted relief.
Wellgate for Women PerfectFit Wrist Support
- High-tech memory foam padding to conform to your wrist's unique shape
- Highly adjustable design to help you get the right fit
- Breathable materials to prevent sweat and skin irritation
This stands out from many other nighttime braces due to its combination of lightweight design and thick, comfortable padding.
The biggest drawback of this particular brace is its light color which tends to require more frequent washing, according to many customer wrist brace reviews. However, the light and comfortable design tends to balance out the hassle. This brace includes two rigid supports to keep your wrist immobile, so it is suitable for more restless sleepers or more serious cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, the memory foam padding helps relieve pressure points and provides plenty of cushioning making it a great choice for sensitive skin. The memory foam also compresses around your wrist to allow for a tighter, more flexible fit.
The hook-and-loop closures wrap almost completely around the brace which allows you to fully adjust the size. This works well for women with smaller wrists as unisex braces can sometimes be designed with larger wrists in mind. This brace also allows for full use of your fingers so you don't have to take it off when you get up in the middle of the night.
Frequently Asked Questions About Carpal Tunnel Braces
How important are the materials a brace is made of?
The right materials can make a significant difference in your level of comfort. The best carpal tunnel brace for nighttime wear is generally going to be made from light, breathable materials so you don't get sweaty and itchy. This can be less important during the day when your mind is focused on other things, and you can remove your brace when you don't need it. The right cushioning is also particularly important at night since your hand rests on your bed and may create uncomfortable pressure points in a poorly padded brace.
What is the difference between a brace and a compression sleeve?
Although the two have overlapping functions, there are some important differences. Both fit snugly, but braces can be a little looser since they contain rigid splints that immobilize your wrist. Compression sleeves do not generally contain splints. Instead, they rely on thick, stretchy material to bind your joint. Compression sleeves allow for more freedom of movement than braces although they still provide some support and restriction.
Are there different carpal tunnel braces for men and women?
Most braces are designed with both men and women in mind. However, particularly petite women may have trouble finding a wrist brace that fits snugly enough, and a loose brace can cause discomfort and be less effective. In addition, some unisex braces can cover too much of the hand for people with a smaller bone structure which can make it difficult to wear during the day or while performing nighttime activities. In these cases, looking for a brace designed with women in mind may help. For people with particularly hard-to-fit wrists, there are even custom braces available through medical specialists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be an uncomfortable or even painful condition, but the right treatment can help ease your pain almost immediately. Once you begin to suspect carpal tunnel syndrome, consult with your doctor and begin shopping for wrist braces. Take your time in choosing the best carpal tunnel brace for nighttime wear so you can get a good night's sleep while giving your wrists the protection they need.
We also recommend checking out Aleve PM to help reduce pain during the night.