Corticosteroids and NSAIDs are common treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). However, these treatments come with several side effects. Plus, they only provide temporary relief. Are there carpal tunnel syndrome natural remedies you can try?
Fortunately, several natural remedies can treat your CTS. But the most effective remedy is to change your lifestyle.
Take a Break
As your office work requires you to be in front of your computer, you developed carpal tunnel syndrome. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons said that there is a link between increase computer use and increased risk of CTS.
CTS is found to be associated with repetitive activities at work.
To stop the pain, your wrist and hand must be in a neutral position. Then, make sure that you take breaks from your repetitive tasks. Use a timer for 15 to 20 minutes. Each time it goes off, you must stop what you are typing or doing.
Then, wiggle your fingers. You may also use a stress ball to relieve muscle tension.
1. Use an Icepack
Applying an icepack on your wrist can help in easing the pain and inflammation. In a study, applying cold to the hand could reduce compression of the nerve and ligament.
Ice therapy has been used in reducing swelling. Because CTS is the result of an inflamed carpal tunnel, applying pressure on the median nerve may reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain.
This natural remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome can also reduce blood flow to the affected area. It reduces inflammation and swelling significantly around the joint or tendon.
It also numbs the pain by constricting blood vessels.
However, if you have cold intolerance. Ice therapy may not be a good idea. You should avoid extreme temperatures. After using cold therapy, your skin may appear a little pinker. Before you resume the treatment, though, allow your skin to return to its normal color.
2. Apply Heat Therapy
Both ice and heat therapies can help with your carpal tunnel syndrome. Heat therapy can ease the pain as it releases your muscles.
This therapy is generally used to loosen any tense muscles, which caused the pain. Furthermore, heat boosts blood flow to promote healing.
It brings in fresh oxygen while it improves blood flow to the affected nerve, which is the median nerve. It also soothes your sore muscles in the wrist and hand. Plus, it increases nerve circulation.
But don’t apply too much heat as it causes the nerve to engorge or swell.
Between heat and ice therapies, the latter offers more pain-relieving benefits when it comes to reducing pain and promoting the body’s natural healing process.
You may wish to accelerate your body’s ability to heal itself, you may alternate ice and heat therapy.
- After working, place the affected hand in a warm water bath for two minutes.
- Then, remove your hand from the warm water bath and soak your hand in the ice water bath for two minutes.
- Continue this cycle for up to 30 minutes.
- You can do this regimen before going to bed.
3. Rub with Arnica Ointment
Arnica ointment is touted as the cream for inflammatory pain. It may help in easing the pain associated with CTS.
- To use it, apply pea-sized arnica cream to your wrist.
- Massage the affected area using your thumb of the other hand.
- Make sure to massage the base of your palm as well.
- You should apply this ointment twice a day, morning, and night to get effective results or until the symptoms have reduced.
4. Wear a Splint
It will help in relieving your mild or moderate symptoms that typically come and go. By wearing a splint, you can avoid putting too much stress on the affected joint with it.
The splint is especially useful if your CTS involves numbness or tingling in the parts of your hand. When it’s difficult to move your finger properly, wearing a splint can help.
The role of the splint is to support the joint. You may wear it at night for a few weeks. It holds the affected joint in a neutral position.
Why wear them at night? The reason for this is that your hand is likely to bend when you’re sleeping. The splint will prevent bending the affected joint when you sleep.
However, you should allow the affected joint to move normally during the day. In that way, it won’t become stiff. It also stops the muscles from getting weak.
If you can’t find a splint, you may use a bandage.
But wearing a splint doesn’t necessarily relieve your symptoms. It may relieve them but the effect is temporary if you don’t take a break from doing repetitive tasks.
If this remedy doesn’t work after a few weeks, then you should stop. Just avoid overusing your wrist to stop the symptoms from getting worse.
As mentioned earlier, the symptoms tend to get worse if you do repetitive activities.
On the other hand, if you wish to try the splint therapy, you can find it in a pharmacy. You must obtain the right size to ensure that you will wear it properly.
5. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture may sound painful and scary. However, it has been an effective treatment for many patients suffering from CTS.
Some of them are saying that this is more effective than the anti-inflammatory medicines that their doctors prescribed.
This natural remedy alleviates pain, numbness, inflammation, and tingling. It also restores your motor dexterity.
Acupuncture can help CTS as it remaps your brain. It provides healing effects where the pain originates, i.e. wrists.
When the acupuncture needle is stuck into your skin, it remaps your brain to modify the pain signals coming from your wrists.
The needle punctures that pain point to send more blood to the area.
The additional blood may assist in healing the damaged nerves.
6. Do Yoga
On the other hand, if you don’t like someone sticking needles into your skin, you may wish to start yoga. Some yoga poses can assist in restoring strength.
You may do a namaste or prayer position. In this position, your hands are held together. Your palms are flat against each other. This position stretches your ligament found around the wrists.
However, you may wonder how yoga can be good for your CTS. With yoga, you’ll be aware of your posture, thoughts, and breathing. It can help in increasing your postural habits. Keep in mind that postural habits can lead to injury.
Are there supplements that can help in treating carpal tunnel syndrome?
You may try some of these beneficial supplements to help your CTS. Then again, they’re not medical treatments. They can help in alleviating your symptoms.
It’s an anti-inflammatory compound from pineapple. The US FDA categorized it as safe to be used as a dietary supplement.
“From the in vitro and in vivo data that is currently available, bromelain demonstrates immunomodulatory and anti-neoplastic effects, in addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4998156/
You may use it alone or together with other medicines. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of bromelain make it an effective treatment for CTS.
Apart from alleviating your pain, it also heals your inflamed wrist faster.
8. St. John’s Wort
This herb contains a high amount of flavonoids. they are compounds that include anti-oxidants. St. John’s Wort also contains anti-inflammatory properties from hypericin.
Apart from the hypericin, St. John’s Wort’s effectiveness in treating CTS is related to the hyperforin. This, too, can affect the neurotransmitters in your body, which can help in reducing pain.
This herb comes in various forms, like oil, tea, dried herb, and salve. But you can also find it in tablet form. Although this herb is known as an anti-depressant, it can help in repairing nerve damage. It also reduces any pain and inflammation related to your carpal tunnel syndrome.
The proper dosage is not established for CTS. However, you may take a maximum of 250 mg. But the dosage will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is an exotic spice that contains curcumin. It’s an anti-inflammatory chemical found in ginger. You may use it as a spice that you can add to your grilled meat, chicken, or fish.
However, if you don’t like its taste, you may consider taking turmeric tea or supplements. Its anti-inflammatory properties can be enhanced when you use it along with ginger and black pepper.
This oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation. You must take one tablespoon of this oil each day. For its effects, you may have to wait for two weeks before you see significant results.
You need to take it with food, though, so it can be properly absorbed by your body. Flaxseed oil is versatile. You can add it to your beverage or any food, like salad.
11. B Vitamins
Some patients with carpal tunnel syndrome swore by vitamin B6 supplement effectiveness in relieving their symptoms. But the effectiveness of this supplement is controversial.
Taking less than 200 mg of Vitamin B6 each day may not cause adverse effects. However, you must monitor changes in your symptoms.
Furthermore, if you use it for long periods, it can cause further problems in the nerves.
When you supplement your body with this vitamin, though, it can maintain healthy nerves. It also speeds up nerve impulses to your hands.
Some experts said that CTS is the result of vitamin B6 deficiency. However, it hasn’t been proven.
But some people indeed require more B6 than others. And if you are in a lot of stress, these days, you would need this vitamin.
If you wish to take vitamin B6, consider eating foods high in this vitamin, rather than using dietary supplements. Food is still the best way to obtain the vitamins that you need each day.
However, if you don’t have access to foods rich in this vitamin, you may take supplements up to 50 mg a day. You must continue doing so after your symptoms have improved.
However, if you want to use it every day for a long period, consider reducing your daily dose to 10 mg per day, instead of 50 mg. And as always, you must consult your doctor about it.
CTS is linked to repetitive strain injury. But other health conditions can be culprits, too. These health conditions would include rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes.
That said, you must talk to your doctor about your other medical conditions as they might have caused your CTS.
What are the Best Foods to Eat to Alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
12. Red Bell Peppers
To treat CTS, you need to reduce the inflammation in your body. Red bell peppers are rich in antioxidants. But don’t just focus on these peppers, make sure to eat other brightly-colored fruit and vegetables.
Apart from red bell peppers, consider eating tomatoes, yellow peppers leafy greens, and carrots. The more colorful the veggies are, the better they are for your health and CTS.
It’s rich in vitamin B6. And as we discussed above, vitamin B6 may help with your CTS symptoms. Spinach is one of those foods or veggies that you must take as one of the carpal tunnel syndrome natural remedies.
Spinach is easy to add to your diet. You can make fresh spinach salad or omelet with spinach. If you are into baking, you can make a spinach pie.
But spinach has this bitter taste because of the oxalic acid. If you can’t endure that, then you may opt for bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, and fortified cereals.
It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are known to reduce inflammation. Since inflammation is the cause of CTS, then eating a lot of salmon may help your condition.
They are high in omega-3 fatty acids. They can reduce CTS symptoms as well. The best thing about walnuts is that they are tasteful. You can eat them directly or add them to your salad or yogurt.
There are effective CTS exercises that you can try while taking a break from your computer work. You may try this exercise by Dr. Jo.
These carpal tunnel syndrome natural remedies are effective for most patients. However, if your symptoms are not improving after trying them, talk to your doctor. These supplements are complementary treatments to help improve your symptoms to avoid hand surgery.
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