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11 Natural Ways To Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Without Risky Surgery
If you do a great deal of typing or computer work, you might find you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition leads to tingling sensations and/or numbness in the hands and fingers, especially the thumb, forefinger, and middle fingers.
In more advanced stages, it can lead to intense pin and weakness in the hands. It can even cause nerve damage. It is generally more common in women than men and can occur in one or both wrists.
There are a number of factors that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Most cases simply stem from excessive pressure on the median nerve that travels through the wrist. This is often due to excessive repetitive motions, such as typing, that cause inflammation in the area.
Although very advanced stages might require medical attention or surgery, this can usually be avoided through natural remedies.
If you think you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and want to avoid surgery, keep reading. We have compiled a list of 11 of the best ways you can deal with this problem naturally at home.
This spice is the true king of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices. Turmeric is well known for stopping chronic inflammation, which causes numerous health problems, including arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help to reduce or eliminate the inflammation that is behind carpal tunnel syndrome. Most people find that 2 grams each day is sufficient, but speak with your doctor about the proper dosage for your unique situation.
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2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another effective way to deal with the inflammation and pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is by consuming apple cider vinegar. This natural compound is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium. All of these minerals are vital for strong bones and minerals. Apple cider vinegar will reduce inflammation and restore the proper pH to the body. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a bit of raw, organic honey to a glass of water and drink twice each day.
3. Vitamin B6
One study, published in the 2007 journal Canadian Family Physician, found that subjects who consumed vitamin B6 supplements were able to postpone hand surgery. This makes sense when you consider that vitamin B6 plays an important part in neurotransmitter synthesis. You can take a B complex vitamin supplement or you can eat more foods rich in B6, such as pistachios, salmon, tuna, sunflower seeds, and brown rice.
4. Cold Compresses
For quick relief from the numbness and pain of carpal tunnel, you can try using cold compresses. This will reduce both swelling and inflammation. Put a few ice cubes in a small towel and apply this to your hands and wrists for 10 minutes. Repeat several times during the day.
For relieving some of the painful symptoms of carpal tunnel, you can massage your wrists and hands, which will improve the blood supply to the area, relax the muscles, and improve mobility. Warm a bit of olive oil or coconut oil and apply it to your hands. Massage your forearms, wrists, hands and fingers for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat twice each day. If you can, get someone else to massage these areas for you.
6. Flax Seed Oil
Sometimes called linseed oil, flax seed oil can help to reduce the pain and swelling of carpal tunnel due to its anti-inflammatory compounds and analgesic effects. Flax seed oil is also super rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences published a 2014 study which found that flax seed oil was very effective in helping to control the pain and swelling of mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. Consume 1 to 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil each day.
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7. Epsom Salt Soak
A natural muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory agent, this magnesium-rich substance can really help to relax the overly tight muscles in your arms, hands, wrists, and fingers. Add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salts to a very warm bath and soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat three or more times each week.
8. Blackstrap Molasses
Not just regular molasses, but blackstrap molasses. This type of molasses is a terrific source of magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxant. It also contains B vitamins, calcium, and potassium, which all help to keep bones and muscles strong while encouraging good circulation. Mix two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses in one cup of warm milk and drink once each day.
9. Castor Oil
Grandma might have told you that this was good for what ails you, and she was right. Of course she never imagined it would also work for carpal tunnel syndrome. Castor oil can suppress pain and reduce inflammation while restoring more normal function to your hands and wrists. You can warm some castor oil and use it as a massage oil. Once you have finished massaging your hands, wrap your wrists and hands in a towel and allow the oil to penetrate the skin for 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat once each day.
10. Acupuncture and Acupressure
Both acupuncture and acupressure can offer relief from carpal tunnel syndrome and restore normal nerve function. They can also help to stop the pain. If your doctor has told you that only surgery can help, try acupuncture or acupressure first. The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found in a 2012 study that acupuncture was very helpful in reducing the symptoms and pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Always consult with a skilled and qualified acupuncturist.
11. Stretching Exercises
If you suffer from carpal tunnel, it is very helpful to flex, rotate and stretch your arms, wrists and fingers several times each day. This will improve blood circulation and can help to relieve pain and pressure. You can do simple stretching exercises almost anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes.
For example, you can make a fist for a count of 5, then shake out your fingers for a count of 10. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Another good stretching exercise is to put your hands in a prayer position. Now spread the fingers apart but keep the tips of the fingers touching each other while you open and close the palms. Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes.
You can also shake your hands as if they were wet and you needed to dry them for 3 to 5 minutes at a time.
Ask your doctor if they can recommend and show you other stretching exercises, or speak with a physical therapist about stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Consume healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil
- Use a wrist pad when typing or using a computer mouse for longer periods of time
- Keep your arms elevated when watching television or when sleeping to reduce swelling
- Include more fish into your diet; the best fish to eat are cold-water salmon and halibut
- Take 3-minute breaks every 30 minutes when you are typing
- Practice yoga to help stretch and strengthen the joints