Do you suffer from sore hands and wrists due to carpal tunnel syndrome? You are not alone. As many as 6% of adults in the United States develop carpal tunnel hand pain at some point in their lifetime.
A common nerve disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome is often related to other medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, gout, and hypothyroidism. Even occupational tasks like scrubbing, assembling small parts, or using vibrating hand tools can trigger this painful disorder.
Symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Numb hands or fingers
- Pain in your fingers, arm, or hand
- A weak thumb
- Difficulty gripping
- A tingling sensation in your fingers or palms that refuses to go away
Thankfully, treating carpal tunnel hand pain is relatively easy. Although you will want to consult a doctor first for a proper diagnosis so you can rule out other issues. Once you are sure that you are indeed suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you can turn to one or more of the following natural remedies:
Natural remedies for Carpal Tunnel Hand Pain
Note: However effective, none of the natural remedies discussed here is an alternative to proper medical treatment. If your symptoms are severe, it is recommended you visit an orthopedic physician.
1. CarpalAID® Hand Patch
CarpalAID® is a uniquely designed plastic hand patch that is highly effective in alleviating carpal tunnel hand pain. It uses no medication of any kind.
CarplAID adheres to the palm of the hand with 3M medical grade adhesive. The concave structure of the patch, along with the adhesive, pulls up the skin of the palm along with underlying soft tissue. This relieves pressure on the median nerve, which is the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The patch does not interfere with your everyday activities and you can wear them whenever you are experiencing hand pain. Because CarpalAID® is medication free and doesn’t rely on any invasive treatment method, it is free of side effects.
2. Hand Exercises
An exercise called “tendon-gliding” can do wonders in limiting carpal tunnel hand pain. These are simple exercises that anyone can do. All you have to do is extend the tendons to their maximum potential.
If you are not familiar with tendon-gliding exercises, check out this instructional document [PDF] by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy for some insightful tips.
According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Research, tendon exercises could reduce several of the symptoms including the swelling around the median nerve and the resulting pain.
3. Hand and Wrist Stretches
You might want to take a few short stretch breaks during the day to open up all the irritated nerve pathways leading to the hand. These exercises are particularly useful for people who work at desk jobs.
Here is a simple exercise: 1) Extend your arm with the palm facing up. 2) Bend your wrist so your fingers are pointing toward the floor 3) Grab your fingers with your other hand, and pull them inward, bending the wrist further. Hold this position for at least 15 to 20 seconds, and repeat with the other hand. See the infographic for other hand exercises. More hand exercises can be found at WebMD.
4. Vitamin B6
A clinical study was conducted to measure the effect of Vitamin B6 on carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers. It was found after three months the symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling and other effects from CTS were significantly reduced in the control group that was given the vitamin.
It is not clear how vitamin B6 aids in reducing the painful effects of carpal tunnel syndrome — some doctors say it acts as a diuretic and reduces excess fluids that could cause the wrists to swell. Others say that a B6 deficiency causes swelling and elasticity in the wrist.
5. Other Remedies
In addition to the aforementioned remedies, you can turn to one or more of the following techniques to ease carpal tunnel hand pain:
- Soak the aching wrist in an ice bath for 7 to 15 minutes once or twice a day.
- If the pain intensifies during night time, try gently shaking your hands and wrists for a while. You can also wear the CarpalAID® hand patch overnight to wake up without any hand pain.
- Take a pot of warm water (92 – 100 degrees), immerse and gently flex your hands and wrists for some time. Do this three to four times a day for optimal results.