(previously published by author on Factoidz/Knoji, Jan. 2012, published prior to Feb. 2012 deadline for exclusion to republishing as per Knoji TOS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition that is defined as pressure on the median nerve of the wrist, causing numbness, pain and tingling sensation in the hand and fingers. The median nerve the nerve that supplies sensation and movement to several parts of the hand, specifically to the thumb, index and middle fingers.
CTS symptoms over the longer term can permanently damage nerves and atrophy the muscles at the base of the thumb at the palm if leftuntreated.
While not officially and fully recognized as a genuine disease, the generally accepted description of CTS is the result of repetitive trauma to the hands. Homeopathic treatments for patients whom suffer from symptoms attributed to CTS include wearing rigid or semi-rigid wrist splints at night for several weeks, massage and physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications (OTC and/or prescription,) and more remedies.
In acute cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a surgical remedy called "transverse carpal ligament release" is called for, -a surgical cutting of the transverse carpal ligament. This surgical procedure removes pressure from the median nerve. This procedure is highly effective but requires months of post-operative recovery time and rehabilitation. It is considered to be a last resort, one best to avoid unless all other strategies have been tried and exhausted.
Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Stretching and massaging the afflicted area and wearing of wrist splints and/or braces at night to reduce symptoms is your first, best option. Alternating hot and cold compresses can also bring temporary relief from CTS inflammation. Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicines such as Advil (ibuprofen) are also recommended.
Use of turmeric in the diet is also said to be of benefit for reduction of CTS symptoms. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory spice. Including raw pineapple in your diet can be of help as this too is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Some exercises purported by sufferers of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include using the palm of one hand to bend back the four fingers of the afflicted hand towards the back of the wrist. Performed several times throughout the day, bending and holding the four finger in this position for a 30-60 second session stretches the tissues and ligaments in the carpal region, reducing impingement and may provide some relief.
In addition, grasping the thumb of the afflicted hand and pulling it towards the back of the wrist also stretches the tissues and ligaments in the palm and carpal tunnel region. You will feel an intense warmth in the muscle at the case of the thumb upon release indicating that you are doing it correctly.
As a sufferer of mild Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I have found several additional methods that seem to work well for me. Using amodern toothbrush and wedging it across the back of the hand and held in place by the base of the little finger and thumb, an intense stretching of the carpal ligament region seems to occur.
Using a modern flexible toothbrush wedged across the back afflicted hand and held by the thumb and pinkie finger, you can stretch the transcarpal ligament. Align the head of the toothbrush under the base of the palm-side little finger and across the back of the palm.
Loop your thumb over the base end of the toothbrush. Your palm and wrist (and carpal ligament) are now being gently stretched.
Hold in this position for several minutes.
Repeat this procedure several times daily while sitting at your computer, work station or in whatever free time you have.
Wrist Braces and Splints for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Wearing a brace or splint at night is considered to be one of the best methods to reduce CTS symptoms. Most humans sleep with wrists curled which impinges the median nerve and causes swelling and pain which often awakens the CTS sufferer. I personally find wearing any restrictive wrist braces or splint at night annoying to wear, almost as annoying as the tingling that otherwise occurs. Stretching and massaging the afflicted area is more effective for my milder CTS symptoms.
I have found one additional simple & cost-effective method to mitigate mild Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms of swelling and tingling.-Wearing of a tight cloth or course fibre glove during sleep.
Tight-Fitting Glove Worn to Reduce Swelling of Hand and Carpal Tunnel Region
It seems that the tightness of the glove compresses the hand and fingers, preventing the more noticeable swelling associated with CTS when sleeping.
More comfortable to wear than a rigid wrist splint or brace, for me this is every bit as effective for reducing the tingling and burning common when the CTS patient sleeps. I have found that my symptoms of swelling, numbness, pain and tingling are significantly reduced both at night and upon waking.
If you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you are urged to see your health care provider and follow any recommendations they may provide. But if your symptoms are milder such as mine, trying some or all of the supplemental suggestions I have provided here may provide you with noticeable relief your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.