A Natural Approach to Health
Living With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
I had a question the other day about carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist.
The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel.
The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers (not your little finger).
Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
This pressure comes from swelling or anything that makes the carpal tunnel smaller.
Things that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include:
*Illnesses like hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
*Making the same hand movements over and over, especially if your wrist is bent down (your hands lower than your wrists), or making the same wrist movements over and over.
*Wrist injuries and bone spurs.
*Smoking, because it reduces blood flow to the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes tingling, numbness, weakness, and/or pain in your fingers or hand.
Some people have pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.
Symptoms usually are in your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.
Mild symptoms can be treated with home care.
The sooner you start, the better your chances of stopping symptoms and preventing long-term damage to the nerve.
To deal with carpal tunnel it’s beneficial to:
*Stop activities that cause numbness and pain.
*Rest your wrist between activities.
*Ice your wrist for 10 to 15 minutes 1 or 2 times an hour.
*Wear a wrist splint at night to keep your wrist in a neutral position. This takes pressure off your median nerve. Your wrist is in a neutral position when it’s straight or only slightly bent. Holding a glass of water is an example of your wrist in a neutral position.
*Stay at a healthy weight.
*Exercise to stay strong and flexible.
*Try to keep your wrist in a neutral position.
*Use your whole hand, not just your fingers, to hold objects.
*When you type, keep your wrists straight, with your hands a little higher than your wrists.
*Relax your shoulders when your arms are at your sides.
*If you can, switch hands often when you repeat movements.
*Eat more foods high in vitamins, magnesium, and calcium
*Stay well hydrated, drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate your cells.
*Increase EFAs (essential fatty acids) with Omega 3, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc., because these help lubricate and decrease inflammation
*Increase B-complex, Lecithin, Cal/Mag, and VitalMag because these support nerve function.