Some of the home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome include less exposure of hand-to-tool handling, cutting devices, and other remedies like hand exercise, ice packs, hot treatment, castor oil pack, acupuncture, gripping pens, vitamin B6 diet, the consumption of turmeric powder and milk, reduction in obesity, and avoiding a harmful diet as indicated in the article.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a group of conditions that arise due to a rise in pressure in the median nerve present in the hands that is encased in the carpal tunnel. It usually affects individuals that have to continually use their hands, wrists, and arms for various reasons.
Home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome are many and are helpful in treating the group of conditions and their symptoms caused by a rise in pressure over the median nerve. This nerve is in the hand and plays an important role in nerve conductions. It provides sensation to the ring, middle, and index fingers, and the thumb. Carpal tunnel protects the nerve. As per the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, this syndrome affects 23,000 individuals each year. Most of the affected people are cashiers, computer operators, and truck drivers that work with hammers.
Factors such as pregnancy, menopause, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, lyme disease, rubella, and hypothyroidism may also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. This leads to numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation in the fingers and thumb. Gripping of the hands while holding or squeezing faces reduces the pain. As the condition worsen, sensitivity of the hands is permanently lost. Pain shoots up into the arms, thereby affecting the whole hand.
A number of factors results in this syndrome. The main cause is the increase in pressure over the median nerve. The carpal tunnel that surrounds the nerve has no space for expansion and thus, any swelling in the same area leads to pressure around the median nerve and an occurrence of the syndrome. Stretching or repeated movements around the wrist causes pressure to build up around the nerve also leads to carpal tunnel syndrome. Kidney failure leads to an accumulation of fluid in the carpal tunnel. Repeated use of the tendons of the hand may also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. An obese individual or those born with arrow carpal tunnel also commonly suffer from the syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Tingling, especially at night, causing a disturbance while sleeping
- Loss of grip and strength in the hands while holding or squeezing
- Weakness and numbness are felt in the hands and wrists
- Wasting of thumb muscles
- Manual tasks to be performed by hands become difficult as there is a loss of coordination among the fingers and thumb
- Conditions worsen when the sensitivity is permanently lost
- Pain shoots up to the arms and shoulders, which are then affected
Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Tool Handling: Usually, handling the tools causes undue pressure on the nerves. Thus, either fat or broad diameter tools should be used. According to the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, if your tools are not so, wrap a gauze of cotton or some cloth or a rubberized tubing around it in order to make the grip strong and make it easy for handling.
Cutting Devices: Tools that are to be used for cutting should be as sharp as possible. This lowers the pressure applied on the object to be cut by the median nerve.
Hand Exercises: If your hands seem to be numb, stop working over keyboards, playing musical instruments, or punching cash register keys for a while. Lift your hands and move them in circles gently to restore the circulation of arms, shoulders, and wrists. This brings them back to their original positions, thereby relieving the tension and stress. Moving your neck forward and backward may also help.
Ice Pack: If the wrist aches, an ice pack should be applied. This reduces pain and gives relief.
Hot Treatment: If ice is not available, then hot water should be used. A cotton cloth or heating pad soaked in this hot water must be dipped and applied to the affected region.
Castor Oil Pack: Take a cloth to cover the hands, spread it, and apply a layer of castor oil over it. Apply it over the sensitive area and keep it for an hour. This has been found to be an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Acupuncture: As per the National Institute of Health, carpal tunnel syndrome can be cured by performing acupuncture regularly. This practice often aims at targeting organs like the liver, kidney, and gall bladder, thereby reducing the pressure over the median nerve.
Gripping Pen: One should be extremely careful while writing. The pen should not be held too tightly as it causes pressure on the nerves, thereby affecting them.
Vitamin B6 Diet: One should consume more vitamin B6-rich food items like sea vegetables, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. This prevents carpal tunnel syndrome. Packaged food must be strictly avoided as these contain compounds that interfere with vitamin B6 uptake.
Turmeric Powder and Milk: It is advised to take a glassful of milk with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder at night. This gives relief to internal pain and wounds.
Reduce Obesity: Obese individuals must lose weight to some extent to reduce the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. They should also perform exercises aimed at stretching the fingers and hands. This will improve their grip and provide flexibility.
Reduce Harmful Food: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, refined foods like pasta, meat, cakes, French fries, and donuts, as well as stimulants like coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and food allergens like milk, cream, soy, and corn should be avoided as far as possible.