Carpal tunnel syndrome • Home remedies

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by repetitive stress. When you repeat the same action over and over, the tendons may swell and compress the nerve that runs over the carpal bone to your hand, causing pain.

Man playing violin - Carpal tunnel syndrome

There is some evidence that suggests genetics are a greater factor than the repetitive motions in the development of wrist pain.  Your hand may feel numb or have a tingling sensation.  You might feel it in a digit or two or in the whole hand.

RISK FACTORS 

  • Baking (kneading dough)
  • Bodyworkers
  • Cashiering
  • Cutting and deboning (Butchers)
  • Hairdressing
  • Knitting
  • Locksmith work
  • Milking cows
  • Playing a stringed instrument with a bow
  • Sewing
  • Using vibrating tools

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Medical treatment may include ultrasound, range-of-motion exercises, pain-relieving medications, anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids.

SELF TREATMENT

If your pain is caused by repeating the same motions over and over again, you must stop doing those motions, of course. Home treatment can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

See the entry for Inflammation and try to eat many more anti-inflammatory foods than those that are known to inflame.

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar in water
  • Cinnamon
  • Dandelion
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Juniper berry
  • Licorice root
  • Matcha
  • Nettle
  • Peppermint
  • Turmeric
  • White Willow

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Chamomile
  • Comfrey, topically
  • Cumin
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Red Pepper
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Turmeric
  • Willow bark
  • See Inflammation for more anti-inflammatory herbs

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically on your skin in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.) or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Bergamot
  • Blue tansy
  • Camphor
  • Clary sage
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • German chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper berry
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Orange
  • Osmanthus
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Spruce
  • Thyme
  • Vetiver
  • Wintergreen (i.e.use in a lotion for joint pain)
  • Yarrow

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid
  • Arnica oil or gel, topically
  • Blackstrap Molasses (for magnesium, B vitamins, Calcium, Potassium and iron)
  • Bromelain (or eat more pineapple)
  • Calcium
  • Enzymes to reduce swelling
  • Green drinks
  • Lecithin
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium supplements if you don’t have a condition that contraindicates it) or eat more foods rich in potassium
  • Vitamin B6 (may require large doses under the care of a doctor (doses higher than 300 mg a day could cause nerve damage in some individuals)
  • Vitamin B6 together with manganese

HYDRATION

Dehydration leads to inflammation. Drink water every couple of hours to decrease fluid retention. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

There are specific exercises you can do that are listed in the “Other Things You Can Do” category. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Your body does most of its repair work while you sleep. Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

You may be frustrated that you cannot do everything you used to do. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to keep mellow. Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Carpal Solution devices
  • Cold packs to reduce swelling
  • Epsom salt (soak)
  • Exercises that rotate the wrist.  You can find exercises online easily.
  • Keep your hands and wrists warm.
  • Raise your arm above your head and rotate the arm and wrist simultaneously.
  • Soak hands and wrists in warm to hot water before retiring at night.
  • Try to sleep with your wrists straight and use a splint if necessary (being careful not to cut off circulation).
  • Try to take breaks from the activity that causes the pain (if you cannot stop altogether), along with intermittent exercises, or try changing the way you do the activity.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

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