Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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One day you’re happily typing away at your keyboard and the next, you start to feel a pinch in your hand. While working endless hours at a computer is often associated with carpal tunnel syndrome – the condition that attacks a rather important nerve in the wrist is also linked to other factors. Luckily, if you act quickly, you can cut down the pain and numbness, as well as rejuvenate the normal use of your wrists and hands.


What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS, for short) is a medical condition that attacks the median nerve of the wrist, causing compression [1]. As a result, the muscles in the wrist become weak and in some cases, numb. An individual may battle a tingling or pricking sensation with their skin.

CTS emerges when the median nerve in the wrist sustains pressure. The median nerve is pretty important to some of the motor function in your hand, as it delivers sensations to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the middle-finger side of the ring finger. While bone spurs are the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, other factors and conditions are also responsible. They include:

  • Certain hormonal disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Fluid retention due to pregnancy
  • Repetitive use or injury
  • Thyroid issues
  • Narrow carpal tunnel

Severe symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome make it difficult for individuals to complete simple hand movements. Dropping things out of your hands is commonplace. Some people lose their ability to pinch objects between their thumb and index finger. Others may rely on their thumb to finish simple tasks, like using a screwdriver or opening a jar of peanut butter.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Home Remedies

With carpal tunnel syndrome, you just don’t wake up one morning and it suddenly appears. You experience warning signs that gradually worsen with time. The condition develops over a stretch of time due to increasing trauma to your wrist and hands. Repeated movements are responsible for the stress on your median nerve. To ease the pain and other symptoms, consider the following home remedies:

a) Ice:

A lot of times, people make the mistake of wrapping their wrist in heat (like a heating pad), but this will only increase swelling. Instead, treat swollen hands and wrists to cold packs.

b) Naturopathy [3]:

Some carpel tunnel syndrome patients have gained relief by alternately dipping their hands and wrists in hot and cold water. This simple home remedy not only works wonders on increasing circulation to the wrists, but also helps to eliminate waste and lessen the pain. An effective approach involves immersing your hands and wrists in tolerable hot water for 3 minutes, followed by cold water for 30 seconds. It is recommended to repeat three to five times – once or twice per day.

c) Hand Raises:

Periodically, make it a habit to remove your hands from your keyboard and get them up into the air to release stress and tension. Raise your arm above your head and rotate, making sure to turn your wrist as well. Not only will your hands and wrists thank you, but also your shoulders, neck, and upper back.

d) Aspirin:

Reduce the pain and inflammation of carpal tunnel syndrome by taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Aspirin or ibuprofen is recommended. Just keep in mind that acetaminophen will reduce pain, but it will not treat the inflammation of carpal tunnel syndrome.

e) Squeeze Approach:

Rid the tingling sensation in your hands by using a ‘squeeze’ motion of the fingers. Press your fingers into your palm, followed by stretching them as far back as you can. Hold the position and then repeat.

f) Sleeping Position:

When sleeping, position your arms close to your body and place your wrists straight. If your hand should drop over the side of the bed, pressure will start to build.

g) Massage:

Invest the help of a loved one who can administer a bit of deep-tissue massage that pays special attention to the arms, wrists, and hands.

h) Hand Exercises:

Exercise your hands to relieve the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome. Just when the tingling sensations start to emerge, consider an uncomplicated circle exercise that rotates the wrist. Start by moving your hands around in gentle circles for about two minutes. This will work all the muscles located in your wrist. Other benefits include restored circulation and help freeing your wrist from an uncomfortable bent position.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome
[2] http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-symptoms
[3] http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/50998