With our current computer-dominated work-life, most of our activities and tasks are accomplished with the use of our hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hands and is manifested by tingling, numbness and weakness of the affected hand(s). This is caused by the pressure on the median nerve. This nerve controls movement and feeling of the thumb and first three fingers. The pressure can come from swelling or any illness that may make the carpal tunnel smaller.
Hypothyroidism, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis may also affect the carpal tunnel. Constant bending of the wrists or making the same, repetitive wrist movement can also make the wrists swell. Pregnancy may also cause this syndrome. Surgery can be a remedy but it should be seen as a last resort, after all treatments are exhausted. The following are six natural ways to help ease carpal tunnel syndrome and help you avoid going under the knife.
1. [highlight color=”orange”]Relax and take a break[/highlight]
Once you start feeling the numbness and tingling, stop doing the activities that you feel may be the cause. Likely, you’ll be well aware of the cause of your pain, whether it be from computer typing or some other work-related repetitive movement. Rest the affected hand, along with your fingers and wrist. Resting the affected hand may help in the healing of the inflamed tissue inside the carpal tunnel. Take regular breaks when working – it will help to alleviate the pain, and if you persist in working through the pain you will only make the injury worse! Elevate the affected arm with pillows while resting to help reduce the swelling.
Gently apply ice packs over the affected wrist for 15-20 minutes to help relieve the pain. You may also apply warm compresses to relax the muscles. You may use whichever compress is more helpful in relieving the pain.
Using a carpal tunnel wrist brace that keeps your fingers, hand and wrist in a neutral position can reduce the pain felt by reducing the pressure on the median nerve. Using a splint at night also provides up to 8 hours of rest for the wrist, with you waking up to a pain-free wrist.
Start by slowly fanning out your fingers and stretching them as far as you can. Rotate your wrists and stretch your fingers and palms. Repeat this exercise for up to 15 times during breaks to promote proper blood flow to your hands and wrists. You can also ask your physician for all the carpal tunnel exercises that are designed to stretch the wrists and the muscles of the hands.
With the weight of your body compressing your wrists and hands, you can keep aggravating your condition while you’re sleeping and you will likely wake up in a worsened condition. Make sure that you rest and sleep with your arms free from any compression or weight.
This may be difficult at first since most of the people with carpal tunnel syndrome have their dominant hand affected. Start with gradually alternating the hands that you use to work. You give more time for the affected hand to heal and also prevent any further injuries.
These natural ways can help you battle carpal tunnel syndrome. You do not have to live with the pain and numbness from this syndrome, nor do you have to undergo surgery for relief. Just start taking extra care of your affected hand and your road to recovery can be easier.
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