Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures
Natural carpal tunnel cures include the use of vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and other nutritional supplements.
Carpal tunnel is a very small, narrow opening just below the base of the wrist, between the arm and the hand. The carpal tunnel
allows a main nerve (the median nerve) to pass from the bones and the muscles of the forearm to the palm, the thumb, and the fingers. Since it is bound by
bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel protects the median nerve and nine tendons that bend the fingers.
Because the opening of the tunnel is very small, the carpal tunnel is vulnerable to pressure and swelling. Pressure placed on the nerve causes pain and numbness in the
fingers, resulting in "carpal tunnel syndrome" (CTS).
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve. Anything that reduces the small space in the tunnel can cause pressure on the nerve. Some common
- Repetitive Use or Injury: Continuous use of the fingers and hand, particularly when done forcefully and for prolonged periods without rest,
or injury to the wrist can cause inflammation and swelling. This can put pressure on the median nerve.
- Hormonal Changes: Any hormonal changes resulting in fluid retention can cause pressure and swelling in the carpal tunnel. Women have a higher tendency to develop carpal
tunnel syndrome due to hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. People suffering from certain hormonal disorders, such as diabetes and thyroid
disorders are also prone to CTS.
- Arthritis: Inflammatory arthritis in the wrist can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually with a mild tingling and vague aching in your wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm. The tingling and
painful feeling is usually worse in the morning or the evening. Other common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Numbness in the thumb and the first three fingers. This sensation often occurs while the person is
holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper or upon awakening.
- Weakness of the thumb and the first three fingers and a tendency to drop things.
- Pain may radiate and extend from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder or down into the palm or fingers, especially after forceful or
- Inability to make a fist.
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures
Natural carpal tunnel cures can help to relieve the pain resulting from CTS. Natural remedies such as vitamins, herbs, homeopathy, and nutritional supplements can be
It has also been found that acupuncture and chiropractic treatments can be effective in addressing the underlying cause of CTS.
On the contrary, carpal tunnel surgery is not recommended because of its high failure rate.
- Alleviate or remove the source of pain if possible.
- Improve circulation.
- Reduce swelling.
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures - Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutritional Supplements
Some vitamins and minerals are effective natural carpal tunnel cures:
- Vitamin B6: Deficiency in vitamin B6 has been found to be a possible cause of CTS. Vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation; it also acts as
a diuretic, helping the body to eliminate excess fluid. Doctors recommend 50 to 200 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily to treat carpal tunnel. It is also advisable to
take a B-complex to prevent an imbalance of the other B vitamins. Do not overdose on vitamin B6 - it may cause damage to the central nervous system.
- Bromelain: Bromelain has well-documented effects on virtually all inflammatory conditions. It can reduce swelling, inflammation and pain.
Suggested dosage to treat inflammatory conditions such as CTS is 250 to 1,500 mg of pure bromelain a day, between meals.
- Calcium and Magnesium: These minerals can reduce muscle tightness and nerve irritation.
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures - Herbs
Several herbs can be used to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. In particular, the following herbs are effective:
- White willow: Willow bark, the original source of aspirin, contains chemicals (salicylates) that both relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
A tincture of this herb can be used (Dosage: 5 ml 3 times a day).
- Chamomile: The active compounds (bisabolol, chamazulene and cyclic ethers) of chamomile have potent anti-inflammatory action. The easiest way
to use this herb is to drink the tea of chamomile several times a day.
- Boswellia: Boswellia herbal extract is derived from the sappy resin of the boswellia tree. It has been found that boswellia produces
therapeutic anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID). Suggested dosage is 1200 to 1500 mg two times a day.
- Cayenne: Cayenne contains six pain-relieving compounds (e.g. capsaicin) and seven that are anti-inflammatory. You can get a commercial
salve containing capsaicin for pain relief.
- Arnica: Arnica improves circulation by opening up peripheral capillaries and is effective in reducing swelling and pain. You can use an
arnica oil or gel and rub it on the affected area.
- Ginkgo: Ginkgo's active compoments include flavone glycosides which can improve blood circulation.
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures - Aromatherapy
Some essential oils are anti-inflammatory and can be used to massage the affected areas to reduce pain and inflammation. Try the following recipe for CTS:
Dilute the above oils in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (e.g. sweet almond oil) and massage the hands, arms, and shoulders two times a day.
- 10 drops of Lavender
- 10 drops of Eucalyptus
- 10 drops of Marjoram
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures - Homeopathy
Several homeopathic remedies can be used internally to alleviate the pain and stiffness caused by CTS. Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms and follow the
instructions of use and dosage on the label.
- Arnica: This remedy is effective for deep pain that feels bruised, flare-ups of inflammation, or new injuries caused by repetitive
use of the fingers and wrists.
- Causticum: This remedy is for long-lasting or recurring CTS. The area feels bruised, with drawing, burning pains.
There is feeling of stiffness and contracture of the muscles of the wrist and forearm. The condition is better with warm applications.
- Hypericum: This remedy is for sharp or shooting pains that are felt extending from the wrist.
- Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy is for achy pain and stiffness that improves with movement.
Discomfort is relieved by dry warmth and worse with inactivity and in windy, damp weather.
- Ruta graveolens: This remedy is effective for tremendous stiffness and a feeling of bruising and lameness, even when the wrist is allowed
to rest. The wrists feel lame and weak from overuse.
Natural Carpal Tunnel Cures - Prevention
The best way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is to prevent it from happening! If you use your wrist and fingers a lot, take the following precautions:
Exercise your wrists
Try the following exercise:
Take Frequent Breaks
Give your hands and wrists frequent breaks. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force,
taking breaks is even more important.
Use a Wrist Rest
If you work on a computer, maintaining a good posture and using a wrist rest can reduce the risk of developing CTS.
Try to keep your work environment warm and dry as cool and humid conditions tend to cause hand pain and stiffness to develop.
- Shake out your wrists gently for about 10 seconds.
- Rotate your wrists gently - 5 times clockwise, 5 times counter-clockwise.
- Hold your arm straight in front of you, palm facing outward. Use the other hand to gently pull back your fingertips. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat with
the other arm.
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
The Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins (Rodale Books, 1998)
J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperback, 2002)
V.A. Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, (New World Library, 1991)
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