Best Remedies To Cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

How To Treat Carpal Tunnel

Do you find a tingling sensation or numbness in your hand? Does your wrist pain after manual work? Do you find yourself unable to hold everyday objects like spoons, plates, or other items for too long? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are some quick remedies to cure carpal tunnel syndrome and alleviate the pain.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common peripheral neuropathies. It normally occurs due to an entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel at the wrist and is a common condition that can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm.

CTS affects 3-6%(1) of adults in the United States and is more common in women than in men. Although the causes can be many, one can take quick remedial measures and corrective steps to ease the pain.

Causes of CTS

CTS can occur due to a combination of factors. These factors can either be hereditary, natural or contrived due to an improper lifestyle. If you are wondering about how to relieve the carpal tunnel, it’s important that you pay heed to the risk factors mentioned below and do everything in your capacity to prevent them if they can be so:

1. Repetitive use of the hand:

The frequent or extreme flexion of the wrist or hand due to holding a tool can increase pressure on the nerve.

2. Pregnancy/Menopause:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can cause swelling and lead to CTS.

3. Health conditions:

Rheumatoid arthritis, a cyst or tumor in the carpal tunnel, lesions in the bone, an overactive pituitary gland, fracture of the wrist, or diabetes are some of the several health conditions that can cause CTS.

4. Heredity:

CTS is likely hereditary as it may occur due to the carpal tunnel being smaller, a trait that runs in the family.

Did You Know!

There are ergonomic aids that can reduce the effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you work long hours in front of the computer, use split keyboards, typing pads and use wrist braces to reduce the tingling sensation.

Symptoms

Symptoms of CTS tend to develop gradually over time. The first symptoms often appear during the night or while waking up in the morning. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include:

  1. Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in either the thumb and index finger, middle finger, or ring finger.
  2. Weakness and clumsiness in the hand, making it difficult to perform activities like buttoning a shirt, writing, etc.
  3. Occasional shock-like sensations that radiate to the thumb and index, middle and ring finger.
  4. Pain or tingling that may reach up to the forearm.
  5. Pain while lifting everyday objects like pen, spoon, or heavy items due to numbness or loss of proprioception (awareness of where your hand is).

Although it is a gradual process, for many people with CTS, the symptoms will worsen over time without some form of treatment.

How To Treat Carpal Tunnel Using Naturopathic Remedies

CURE 1: Dietary Changes for Carpal Tunnel

Choosing the right food can affect your health enormously and help alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you find yourself wondering about how to get rid of carpal tunnel and which foods may help you do so, given below are some foods that can help you and that you should include in your diet.

1. Vegetables

healthy vegitables
Image:ShutterStock

Why does it work?

This helps to reduce swelling and inflammation, which can be a reaction to having CTS. In addition, a healthy mix of spinach, which is rich in vitamin B6 acts as a complementary therapy and helps ease the pain.

How to use it?

Including a healthy diet of bright-coloured vegetables like red peppers, carrots, tomatoes, yellow papers and leafy greens are rich in antioxidants.

How much to use?

Though there is no prescribed amount of how many vegetables you should eat, try to include a healthy mix of leafy greens, cruciferous, marrow, root, edible plant stems, and allium vegetables.

2. Pineapples

Why does it work?

Fresh pineapple may ward off carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, pineapple contains bromelain enzymes, which work well for reducing swelling. As an added health bonus, pineapple also acts as an aid to digestion.

How to use it?

You can ingest pineapple in any form, however, to derive the maximum benefit out of it, make a smoothie or juice and drink it on a full stomach.

How much to use?

There is no set dosage on how much pineapple you should consume because apart from bromelain, it contains folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and manganese. However, 300 gms of pineapple a day should be enough.

3. Turmeric

Why does it work?

This flavorful exotic spice contains the best anti-inflammatory called curcumin, which offers relief from pain.

How to use it?

Its anti-inflammatory properties are enhanced when used in combination with black pepper and ginger.

How much to use?

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful and known antioxidant with proven advantages. Studies(2) have found that curcumin, when ingested in any form at least twice a day for 3 months can effectively relieve complications associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

4. Salmon

Salmon for energy (1)
Image:ShutterStock

Why does it work?

Salmon is a rich source of two omega-3 fats called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic), Salmon, tuna, and sardines can decrease inflammation. If there are symptoms like rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish may help.

How to use it?

You can make Salmon a mainstay of your diet. Eat it regularly as a part of your day time meal.

How much to use?

Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies(3) have found that the consumption of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids in the range of 2400-7200 mg/day of EPA-DHA is effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome.

5. Walnuts

Why does it work?

Walnuts may also decrease inflammation in the body and are an excellent source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid. Other foods high in ALA is flaxseed and Chia seeds.

How to use it?

You can either have walnuts whole, add them to your meals, or make a paste and dissolve it within a glass of milk and have it.

How much to use?

Walnuts have a high percentage of omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid and it constitutes around 8–14%(4) of its total fat content. 30 gms of walnuts will provide you with the necessary amount of omega-3 acids to help you with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

[ Read: How to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Pain? ]

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CURE 2: Supplements for Carpal Tunnel

Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome may find relief from taking certain supplements like Vitamin B6, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Astaxanthin, or Flaxseed Oil. If you are wondering about how to get rid of carpal tunnel and which supplements can assist you in doing so, given below is a list of such supplements.

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 Benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why does it work?

Vitamin B6 is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins to cure CTS. Vitamin B6 reduces the pain and symptoms of CTS.

How to use and how much to use?

If you wish to take initial supplements to help cure CTS, you can start by consuming a 500mg tablet of vitamin B6 a day. However, be sure not to overdo it as this can cause damage to the sensory nerves.

2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Why does it work?

Alpha-Lipoic acid is a vitamin-like chemical with antioxidant properties that help to alleviate the pain during CTS.

How to use it and how much to use?

Doctors normally prescribe ALA tablets of 600mg be taken for CTS in case the treatment requires surgery. The medications should be taken one month before the surgery and two months after. However, it is recommended to consume ALA only after recommendation by a medical practitioner.

3. Flaxseed Oil

Why does it work?

Flaxseed contains the essential omega-3 fatty acid, which is often recommended for treating carpal tunnel syndrome and to decrease inflammation.

How to use and how much to use?

If you have flaxseed oil, apply it gently on the hands and the area that is feeling numb once or twice a day. Fish oil isis rich in omega-3 fats and about 15 mL of it daily is enough. However, it is reactive and can lead to excessive bleeding in people who take blood-thinning supplements. If the symptoms don’t stop after a day or two after application, see a doctor.

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CURE 3: Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome ranges from mild to severe. Appropriate treatment can often restore function in the wrists and hands and relieve symptoms. The following are some home remedies that may provide some relief for mild to moderate CTS symptoms.

1. Perform Stretching Exercises

Stretch your hands, fingers, and wrists often, rotating them in circles and flexing and extending your palms and fingers. Massage the wrist, palms, and backs of the hands as required.

2. Ice Pack Therapy

To relax and cool off for the day, wear an ice pack over the hand for 10-15 mins to ease the swelling. You may put ice in a cloth to be wrapped around the hand incase an ice pack is unavailable.

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CURE 4: Lifestyle Changes for Carpal Tunnel

There are certain lifestyle changes that can help cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Some of the things you should do are:

1. Quit Smoking

stop smoking
Image:ShutterStock

One of the several reasons to quit smoking is that it interferes with the blood flow and can make the effects of CTS worse in certain cases.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity or having excess fat can hamper blood flow as the fat squeezes your body tissues and nerves, making it hard for the speed of nerve messages to the hand, which can increase CTS risk. To reduce weight, try to opt for exercises that do not put a strain on your hands and do not lift heavyweights. Cardio workouts and light workouts like jogging, yoga or brisk walking are recommended.

3. Avoid Repetitive Movements

Since the pain originates in the hand and wrist, stop any activities that may lead to discomfort. If the numbness is mild, take frequent breaks and maintain a neutral position of the wrist.

In addition, if you work with objects frequently or end up working in front of a workstation, improve your posture and take frequent breaks to give your hands some rest.

There is a strong association between smoking and carpal tunnel syndrome. Current smokers were nearly twice as likely to suffer from CTS as compared to a non-smoker(5).


FAQs

1. What is carpal tunnel syndrome? How dangerous is it? Can it ever lead to the loss of an arm?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common peripheral neuropathies. It normally occurs due to an entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel at the wrist and is a common condition that can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm.

Complications of carpal tunnel syndrome are uncommon but can include muscle weakness at the base of the thumb. Although there are cases where CTS was severe, the chances of losing the arm completely are extremely rare.

2. When should you visit a doctor?

It is recommended that you visit the doctor as soon as you recognize the early signs or symptoms of havings CTS. CTS can be cured without surgery if detected early, but it is recommended to have it overlooked by a trained practitioner to determine whether it is severe or can be treated with mild medications. If there is significant pain for more than two months, the doctor may refer a hand therapist who can help maximize recovery.

3. What are the general treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome?

If diagnosed in the early stages, CTS can often be treated without the need for surgery. In some cases, if the diagnosis is uncertain or if symptoms are mild, the doctor will recommend non-surgical treatment first.

4. Is surgery necessary for carpal tunnel syndrome?

No, surgery is not always required for treating CTS. The various non-surgical treatments include wearing a brace or splint to be worn, anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and inflammation or lifestyle modifications as suggested by the doctor.

CTS can be caused due to several factors, meaning there is no action that one can take to avoid developing it. Home remedies and lifestyle changes definitely help in alleviating the pain and reducing the chances of developing CTS if preventive measures are taken at the proper time.

However, simply googling “how to cure carpal tunnel,” and “how to treat carpal tunnel” will get you nowhere if you don’t follow the remedial measures mentioned above or your doctor’s advice to the T. In all cases, it is highly recommended to see a doctor and use the home remedies and lifestyle changes as an additional step to ensure proper recovery. Once treated, the recurrence of CTS is rare, and if this happens, you may need additional treatment or surgery.

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