Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Want Some Background on CTS?
Before we discuss carpal tunnel natural remedies, it’s important to note that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is not all that rare. Your estimated risk for developing the disease is around 10%. It usually starts between ages 30 and 60, and women outnumber men with the condition 3 to 1. And it’s “progressive,” which means it gets worse if left untreated.
The first CTS symptom is typically painful nighttime tingling in one hand, and soon there’s daytime tingling as well followed by a decreased ability to squeeze tightly. Your fingers feel swollen even if they don’t look puffy. Eventually you feel a loss of strength and a pain at the base of the thumb that shoots up your arm, toward your shoulder.
Is CTS an Injury or a Permanent Condition?
It’s both. As a result, the best carpal tunnel natural remedies help soothe a physical injury that has become a permanent health condition.
Many doctors describe CTS as an “injury” to the wrist bones, which are 8 tiny bones (called carpals) that form a “tunnel” filled with the tendons and nerves that control your finger movement. Tasks that demand repetitive wrist movement are likely to inflame those tendons and pinch the nerves. That injury, inflicted again and again, leads to CTS.
- So people who work all day on computer keyboards are at particular risk.
- Drummers, painters, and even chefs are disproportionately prone to CTS.
- Assembly line workers who use heavy, vibrating equipment are likely targets for the condition.
- Water retention during pregnancy, obesity, tendonitis, bone spurs, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes also contribute to increased risk.
What Do Doctors Recommend?
For only minor discomfort, doctors often recommend common sense carpal tunnel natural remedies.
- Take breaks from repetitive tasks. In other words, stop wrist motion every 15 minutes, wiggle your fingers and stretch your hands. Gently move your wrists to improve blood flow.
- In addition, try over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Aspirin and ibuprofen are helpful, and they can reduce inflammation around the nerve.
- Wear a wrist brace at night. Most of us sleep with our wrists slightly flexed which puts hours of pressure on the carpal tunnel area. A drugstore brace immobilizes the wrist, producing significant relief for some people.
For more serious CTS, doctors may suggest more aggressive treatment.
- To start with, they’ll prescribe corticosteroid pills or injections. This will reduce swelling and pressure on the median nerve.
- Finally, they may suggest surgery relieve pressure on the nerve. Just 1 or 2 small incisions are made in the affected area, and then the ligament is cut, to make more space around the compressed nerves.
Or You Can Choose Carpal Tunnel Natural Remedies
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is a very popular therapy. Foods high in B6 include sweet potatoes, avocados, brown rice, barley, bananas and mangos. On the other hand, a high-quality supplement (of up to 100 mg, taken twice daily) can be easier and almost as effective. (Check with your doctor before starting a B6 regimen because some people need a lower dose.)
Eating pineapple can work! Pineapple contains a protein-dissolving enzyme called bromelain, which helps reduce tissue swelling.
Studies show that chiropractic care can relieve CTS. Wrist, elbow, and upper spine manipulation by a reputable chiropractor can help you feel better and heal faster.
Arnica gel is good for temporary pain relief. This homeopathic remedy is available in better health food stores. Boiron is an excellent brand and, if necessary, you can order online.
Topical analgesics also help. Choose one, like Premiere’s Pain Spray Mist or Roll-On, that contains menthol as its active ingredient. Menthol is one of nature’s strongest pain relievers because it works quickly and the effect lasts for hours.
Alternate between hot and cold water. Fully submerge your wrists in very warm water for 3 minutes, and then in cold water for 1 minute. Do this 3 times in a row, up to 3 times daily.
Pain Relief Patches are good. Patch medicine is absorbed through the skin (bypassing the liver where it can be harmful). Patches also avoid the stomach upset associated with aspirin and other over-the-counter medication. Always discard them carefully because they contain medication that’s harmful to children and pets.