Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve related disorders in men and women today. Those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome know all too well the pain it causes and, often times, the hefty price tag that comes along with medical treatments.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Battling Swelling Naturally
Today, I’ll talk about natural ways to fight the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Before I go any further, let’s talk carpal tunnel syndrome in more detail.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers (not your little finger).
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This pressure can come from swelling or anything that makes the carpal tunnel smaller. Many things can cause this swelling, including:
- Illnesses such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
- Making the same hand movements over and over, especially if the wrist is bent down (your hands lower than your wrists), or making the same wrist movements over and over.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
According to WebMD, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand. Some people may have pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.
Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.
You may first notice symptoms at night. You may be able to get relief by shaking your hand.
Now, let’s talk about natural ways to fight carpal tunnel syndrome such as:
- Wearing a brace
- Rest and reducing the activity causing carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hand and wrist stretches/exercises
- Change of diet
- Essential oils
Let’s get started!
Wearing A Brace
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be quite painful at times. One way to naturally fight the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome is to wear a brace. Wearing a brace helps to stabilize the wrist and hand, preventing movements. Braces are mainly worn at night while you sleep but, can also be worn during the day. During the day, some people choose to wear a brace that is less restrictive. A typist would be a good example. People that do a lot of typing wear a brace that gives more freedom to their fingers but, still stabilizes the wrist.
You can purchase a brace at your local pharmacy. They can also be purchased online as well.
Rest and Reducing The Activity Causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This is easier said than done but, resting your hands or ceasing the activity that is causing your CTS all together while you heal is sometimes necessary. If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, continuing the activity that is causing your CTS can cause extensive damage that will require medical attention.
Hand And Wrist Stretches/Exercises
Once the pain and symptoms have subsided and you are able to return to the activity, there are simple daily carpal tunnel stretches and exercises you can do at home or work.
Stretch/Exercise #1: Rotate your wrist up, down, and from side to side. Do this stretch/exercise 4 times for each wrist.
Stretch/Exercise #2: Stretch your fingers far apart, slowly relax your fingers, and stretch your fingers once more. Do this stretch/exercise 4 times for each hand.
Stretch/Exercise #3 (thumb stretch): Gently pull your thumb back and hold it for 3-4 seconds. Do this stretch 4 times for each thumb.
Change Of Diet
The truth is, there are foods that can cause general inflammation throughout your entire body. Adding these foods to your daily diet can help fight the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Foods rich in omega 3 such as fish
- Foods rich in potassium and magnesium
- Foods that are low in sodium
- Foods that are rich in B vitamins such as green leafy vegetables
There are foods that you should avoid such as:
- Foods with processed sugar
- Foods that are high in sodium
- Foods that are high in saturated fat
- Processed grains
These supplements can ease pain, reduce inflammation and muscle tension, and improve circulation. Consider taking these supplements on a daily basis:
- Vitamin B6: Reduces inflammation. Dosage: 100 mg, 3 times a day.
- Bromelain: Possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Dosage: 500 mg, 3 times a day between meals.
- Magnesium: Reduces muscle tension. Dosage: 250 mg, twice a day.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Improves circulation. Dosage: 120 mg, twice a day.
Essential oils can be used topically to reduce pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. There are two essential oils that are the most effective:
- Wintergreen essential oil: When applied to the affected area, this essential oil has an analgesic effect. It cools the inflamed area and will relieve other symptoms of CTS such as the tingling sensation.
- Cypress essential oil: Helps to speed up the healing process by increasing circulation in the CTS affected areas.
The following essential oils are great in repairing tissue affected by CTS:
- Helichrysum essential oil
- eppermint essential oil (also helps to reduce pain)
- Frankincense essential oil (also decreases inflammation)
Application instructions for all of the above mentioned essential oils: Mix 3-4 drops of essential oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and massage into the affected area for relief.
Dr. John Bergman’s video shows how to cure carpal tunnel syndrome naturally:
Author’s note regarding carpal tunnel syndrome: If you are experiencing any symptoms that relate to carpal tunnel syndrome, please obtain a proper diagnosis from your primary care physician. Early diagnosis is the key to getting CTS under control.
Have you tried other natural methods for carpal tunnel syndrome? Let us know how if it worked in the comments section below!
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