Have you been feeling a tingling sensation in your wrists and palms? If so, you could be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Learn how to treat this condition naturally and safely, without having to visit the doctor.
Quick facts: Treating Carpal Tunnel At Home
✅ Ice Packs – Can reduce inflammation and decrease pain – Mayo Clinic
✅ Wrist Splints – Can help to support the wrist and reduce pain – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
✅ Exercise – Can reduce strain on the wrist and improve flexibility – American College of Rheumatology
✅ Anti-Inflammatory Medication – Can reduce swelling around the wrist – Harvard Medical School
✅ Massage – Can improve circulation and reduce pain – American Physical Therapy Association
Understand Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition affecting millions of people every year. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, leading to numbness, tingling and pain in the fingers, thumb and palm.
Let’s take a closer look at what carpal tunnel syndrome is and how it can be treated at home.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition of the hand and wrist caused by pressure on the median nerve, which supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. The symptoms of CTS include numbness, tingling, burning or throbbing sensations in one or both hands and wrists. In severe cases these symptoms may lead to a weakening grip and trouble performing fine motor tasks such as buttoning, tying shoelaces and writing. Other common symptoms include pain, swelling in the palm area, difficulty sleeping due to wrist pain, fatigue in hands and forearms.
The most common triggers for carpal tunnel syndrome include repetitive motions (such as typing on a computer keyboard), incorrect posture while working at a desk or table surface, certain medical conditions (including diabetes, hypothyroidism, arthritis or gout), pregnancy and an injury that damages the wrist or surrounding nerve tissue. The severity of symptoms will depend on the cause of CTS; however managing your lifestyle habits can help reduce the intensity.
Treatments can range from splinting devices worn during sleep to medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs to corticosteroid injections. In severe cases surgery might be recommended as well.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition caused by excessive pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the wrist and hand. This pressure can be due to swelling or narrowing of the passage which in turn puts pressure on the median nerve and results in painful sensations in the hands, wrists, and arms.
Common causes of CTS include:
- Injury (such as a fall),
- Overuse injuries from activities that involve repetitive movements of the hand and wrist (such as typing),
- Diabetes, and
- Any other medical condition that causes swelling or inflammation of the hand joints.
Other potential causes include:
- Kidney disease,
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause cycle,
- Genetics (hereditary factors),
- An uncomfortable work station with inadequate ergonomics etc.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome may include:
- Rest devices such as splints or braces for immobilizing your wrists to take some of the pressure off;
- Anti-inflammatory medications;
- Physical therapy exercises;
- Steroid injections; and
- Even surgery.
Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes tingling and numbness in your hand and fingers due to pressure on the median nerve that runs from your forearm to your palm. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can help reduce the symptoms and make living with carpal tunnel more manageable. Let’s take a look at what treatments are available:
Self-care techniques are the foundation of treating carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). These at-home treatments can help reduce pain, improve mobility and strength, and manage symptoms.
Self-care techniques may consist of:
- Stretching exercises to stretch the affected muscles.
- Resting the affected arm or hand in a neutral position.
- Avoiding activities that involve repetitive motions.
- Swapping out any tools used for tasks that may be causing tension in the hands or wrists.
- Using a wrist splint to keep your wrist in a neutral position while sleeping or doing activities like typing or crafting.
- Taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for any inflammation and pain.
Practicing self-care treatments consistently is key to managing CTS symptoms. It is also important to remember that during this process rest is just as important as activity. Learning to recognize one’s own limit will help people with CTS make sure they do not overdo it and reaggravate their symptoms.
Exercise and Stretching
Exercise and stretching help to alleviate the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome by increasing circulation and improving joint range of motion in the affected area. It is essential to get professional guidance when performing any stretching or strengthening exercises to ensure proper form and avoid exacerbating symptoms.
Common home exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome include wrist flexion/extension, wrist pronation/supination, finger exercises, and shoulder mobility drills. Stretches may involve holding your arm bent at the elbow with your hand facing up, then gently pulling down on your fingers until you feel a gentle stretch. Similarly, grasp your fingers together with one hand and pull back slowly until you feel a moderate stretch. Perform these stretches two to three times per day for optimal relief.
Over-the-counter medications are a common treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. These medications are taken orally and include both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling and ease pain. Acetaminophen will help with pain relief but will not reduce inflammation. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome may need to take both types of medication to find relief from their symptoms.
In addition to over-the-counter medications, topical pain relievers such as
- lidocaine patches,
- capsaicin creams
- or capsaicin plasters
may also provide some relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These topical treatments work by numbing the area around the affected nerve so that it stops sending signals of pain to the brain.
Lifestyle changes are an important part of treating carpal tunnel and can help reduce symptoms and even prevent further damage. These changes can include changing your posture and adjusting the way you type or perform tasks.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make changes to your lifestyle to help with carpal tunnel:
- Change your posture
- Adjust the way you type or perform tasks
- Take frequent breaks
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Use ergonomic tools and equipment
- Avoid repetitive motions
- Stretch your wrists and hands
Proper ergonomics are important to prevent, or help relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic approach is designed to reduce strain on the joints and muscles, which can lessen the pressure on the nerves in the area and help to prevent injury.
Ergonomic practices range from using an ergonomically-designed workstation, to taking frequent breaks throughout the day, to using proper posture while sitting at a desk. Employers should provide an adjustable chair and supportive wrist rests for their employees, as well as training in correct body mechanics. Proper posture while typing is also important—shoulders should be relaxed, wrists should remain straight with minimal bending or stretching of fingers or wrists when typing or clicking a mouse.
Additionally, alternate activities throughout the day such as walking around during breaks can help reduce overall strain on joints and muscles.
Wrist splinting is a home remedy recommended for treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The purpose of this approach is to immobilize the wrist joints, which reduces pressure on the median nerve. CTS occurs due to compression of the median nerve between the bones and ligaments in the wrist area.
Wearing a splint that holds your wrist in a neutral position can reduce this pressure. It can also help to reduce pain and other symptoms of CTS, such as numbness or tingling in your hands. Splinting may also be used as part of physical therapy or other treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Splints come in different shapes and sizes depending on individual needs, but its important that you wear it correctly. If done properly, wrist splinting may help provide relief from CTS symptoms without surgery or medications.
Avoid Repetitive Movements
In order to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important to avoid repetitive movements of the wrist. This should include any motions such as typing, writing, texting, or even brushing your teeth. Taking frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch your wrists and fingers can be helpful in preventing carpal tunnel flare-ups.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to switch hands when performing activities that require a lot of repetition with one hand (for example, brushing your teeth). Finally, try to use ergonomic equipment that is designed reduce stress on your wrists while you work. These changes can help reduce the strain on your wrists and prevent onset of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
When to See a Doctor
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes compressed.
If you experience symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your fingers, or sharp pains running through your wrist and arm, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated at home by modifying activities that aggravate it, using splints and cold packs, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. However, if these treatments do not provide relief or symptoms worsen over time, it is necessary to see a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
Your doctor may recommend medications such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation or other treatments such as surgery in extreme cases.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be managed through various methods and home remedies. Home remedies are a natural and cost-effective way to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Let’s explore some home remedies that can be used to manage this condition:
Hot and Cold Compress
Using a hot and cold compress is a common home remedy for relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel. The combination of heat and cold helps increase circulation to the area and reduce swelling, which can help relieve pain.
To use this method:
- Soak two towels in hot water, wring them out and place one over the affected area for five minutes.
- Then replace it with a towel that has been soaked in ice water or a cold compress.
- Repeat this process up to three times daily.
The combination of the heat and cold helps improve blood flow to the affected area while also reducing inflammation that may be causing pain in your hands or wrists due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Herbal remedies are a great option for treating carpal tunnel at home. Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Common herbs used in carpal tunnel treatments include arnica, calendula, ginger, turmeric, and St. John’s wort. When taken orally or applied topically, these herbs can help reduce inflammation and lessen the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other herbal remedies that may help with carpal tunnel syndrome include aloe vera gel, cayenne pepper cream, capsicum plaster (an Ayurvedic remedy that involves applying a paste of turmeric and other herbs to the affected area), and yoga balm (an Ayurvedic remedy that involves massaging the affected area with a blend of oils). Lastly, acupuncture is another option for treating carpal tunnel syndrome at home.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese remedy that involves placing thin needles into specific areas of the body. It can help restore balance in the body and reduce inflammation. Acupuncture has been found to be particularly helpful in relieving carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
Studies have shown that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to release endorphins, which are chemicals in your body that block pain signals from reaching your brain. Even though acupuncture is considered a safe therapy for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before undergoing any form of treatment.
An experienced acupuncturist should be able to guide you on which points to target and will also be able to adjust the intensity and duration of treatments according to your individual needs.
FAQs about: Treating Carpal Tunnel At Home
Q: What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
A:Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. This pressure can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and fingers.
Q: What are some home treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome?
A:Some home treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include rest, wearing a wrist splint, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, performing stretching exercises, and applying ice or heat to the affected area.
Q: Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help treat carpal tunnel syndrome?
A:Yes, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help treat carpal tunnel syndrome. These include avoiding activities that put strain on your wrists, taking regular breaks from activities that involve repetitive motions, and maintaining good posture when sitting and working.