Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is typically caused by placing too much repetitive stress on the hand or wrist due to the work one has been doing. This condition, although not debilitating, can be a real inconvenience. Fortunately, there are a variety of home remedies that can be effective at treating CTS.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS can manifest as a variety of uncomfortable and/or painful sensations in the fingers, wrist, and even the upper arm if it becomes severe enough, per health.howstuffworks.com. It often starts as a numbing sensation in the fingers, and tingling, burning, and aching sensations usually follow. The pain occurs as a result of the swelling of one or more tendons that run through the wrist, which places pressure on the median nerve, which is responsible for movement and sensation in at least three fingers.
The most common cause of CTS is any forceful and repetitive movement of the hand(s). This could be low-impact work such as typing or playing an instrument, or high-impact work such as moving heavy objects with your hands, or handling machinery like a jackhammer, as per health.howstuffworks.com.
What Steps Can I Take to Alleviate CTS?
If you are experiencing CTS, resting your wrist is crucial in order for you to recover, per home-remedies.com. The point of rest is to immobilize your wrist for a period of time, and allow it to heal. If you can, avoid heavy lifting or intense arm-involved activities, and take breaks every few minutes during your work if you must use your hands frequently. Additionally, there are certain actions and home remedies you can use to help remedy CTS.
Be careful at night. Per health.howstuffworks.com, it is important that you be mindful of your wrist position at night. It is common for many to sleep with their wrist bent or tucked under their body. But, it is extremely important to keep your wrist in a neutral position. Twisting, bending, and putting pressure on your wrist will all likely prolong your recovery from CTS. Laying your wrist down flat on the mattress is ideal when sleeping.
Massage. This technique is a common recovery tool for a variety of injuries, and CTS is no exception. Per home-remedies.com, gentle massage can be effective in ridding you of your CTS symptoms. Massage can help to relieve the pressure put on your median nerve by reducing inflammation. We recommend keeping the massage very gentle, and that you be attentive while doing it, so as to not over-do it.
Icing your wrist can also be an effective method for reducing or eliminating any present inflammation, per health.howstuffworks.com. You could use a store-bought frozen pack for this, or just put some ice in a bag with a cloth around it, and apply it to the affected area. Do this for 5 to 15 minutes twice a day, and you might see a difference in symptoms. However, icing your wrist does not replace rest and carefulness. In order to heal, it is important that you simultaneously avoid twisting or otherwise stressing your wrist.
Supplements to Help Lessen CTS Symptoms
Turmeric, or more specifically a “turmeric poultice,” may be helpful in reducing CTS symptoms, per livealittlelonger.com. This is because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, which might help reduce the swelling that occurs during CTS. In this case, the proper method is to take two teaspoons of turmeric, add water to make it into a paste, heat it, and apply it to the affected area for two-three hours. Of course, supplementing your diet with turmeric can also help.
Vitamin B6, or a Vitamin B complex, may be effective in relieving CTS symptoms because of its ability to reduce nerve inflammation, per draxe.com. It is recommended that you take 100mg of B6 three times daily while trying to overcome CTS. Draxe.com also recommends Vitamin B12 for the same reasons, so a Vitamin B complex with both of these is ideal.
A magnesium complex supplement is also highly recommended by draxe.com, ideally one that contains calcium. These two nutrients are effective because they are electrolytes, and electrolytes help muscle cells function properly, and can thus help muscle tissue in the carpal area to relax.
Green tea extract can be useful in reducing inflammation, per home-remedies.com. When taking green tea extract to treat CTS, the recommended dose is 250mg to 500mg per day.
Willow bark, which is the naturally occurring form of aspirin, per home-remedies.com, can help relieve the inflammation associated with CTS. Willow bark is often found in a complex containing other worthwhile supplements.