Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as a nerve disorder that occurs in the hands of an individual. It is believed that this disorder causes excruciating pain, impassiveness and some tingling. There is a key nerve on the hand known as the median nerve which is found on the forearm all the way down into the hand of a person. There is a passageway known as carpal tunnel that it is able to send all the impulses required from the brain all the way to the hand i.e. the thumb, index fingers as well as the middle fingers. In case the tunnel is affected by anything and it narrows down, it will simply swell. When this happens, the median nerve will be compressed making it unable to function as required. The narrowing and compression of the median nerve is what is commonly known as carpal tunnel syndrome. It is important to ensure that you have taken the necessary measures in order for the syndrome to be treated.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since genetically, people tend to have different sizes of carpal tunnels, it means that the causes will also tend to differ from one individual to the other. There are some common causes of this syndrome and all you need to do is to keep reading to learn more about the causes.
- Repetitive movement is one of the major causes of this disorder. This means that repetitive work strain such as assembly line jobs can easily cause the nerve disorder in the hand.
- Conditions such as obesity and pregnancy are major contributions to water retention and when this happens, carpal tunnel syndrome is easily to occur.
- Metabolic disorders that affect the nerves such as arthritis are major causes of this syndrome.
- An individual having an overactive pituitary gland or a tumor in the carpal tunnel can easily cause this syndrome.
- Extended computer use: There are a majority of people who work with computers in an extended period of time without having breaks. This in turn can cause this disorder since there is excessive use of hands involved.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are easily identified especially by the person who has been affected by the syndrome. Some of the common symptoms include the following:-
- Falling asleep of the hand: In most cases, this symptom is easily identified during the night while an individual is asleep. The hand tends to fall asleep and you will be required to shake it as much as you can in order to feel the hand again.
- Tingling: This is yet another symptom of this disorder and it is felt during the wee hours. When you wake up in the morning, you may have a tingling in the hand.
- Swelling: At times when you wake up in the morning, you may discover that your hand is swollen and this will in turn make it feel clumsy. However, it is believed that upon examination, the swelling may not actually appear.
- Burning Sensation: The burning sensation that one experiences will most likely be felt on the fingers and palm of the hand. This is a common symptom that can easily be identified.
- Pain: This is mostly experienced in the fingers, forearm or even the wrist. In case you are working, you may feel the pain and when you stop, the pain may go away. However, the pain may occur again and this time it is felt in the middle of the night. When you wake up in the morning, you will still feel the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Home Remedies
There is no doubt that if carpal tunnel syndrome is detected early enough, it can be reversed easily. However, if this is the opposite, there are a plethora of remedies that you need to know that will help in curing the disorder. Read on to learn more of the remedies. You should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself.
- Meadowsweet- This is herbal tea that is made from flower tops and leaves. It helps relieve inflammation and pain associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Turmeric- This is yet another anti-inflammatory herb and it can be used in tea or added to a spoon of honey. It helps relive pain and reduces swelling as well.
- Willow Bark- It is the natural aspirin form and it helps relive inflammation and pain when taken as a supplement or tea.
- Green Tea- The extract of green tea should be taken on a daily basis and in this case, it is advisable to use a doze of 250 to 500 mg everyday. It helps reduce inflammation and also stimulates your immune system. In addition to this, it also contains antioxidants which make it drinking it more effective.
- Devil’s Claw- You should take at least 1 to 2 grams three times a day to address the inflammation brought about by carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Fever few- It has anti-inflammatory actions and should be taken as prescribed.
- Green Thistle- You should take at least 80 to 160 mg two or three times a day in order to give your body support as it attempts to heal.
- Cayenne- You should apply an ointment of cayenne on the affected area. It is recommended you do this at least two to three times a day in order to get results.
- Arnica- This ointment should be applied on the affected part of wrist and hands in order to reduce pain.
- St John’s Wort- You should use a cream that contains St John’s Wort on the affected areas in order to ease inflammation of the connective tissue and the muscles.
- Garlic- Ground 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and apply it to the affected area. This should provide relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Massage: It is important to ensure that you have taken some time to massage your hands and even wrists so that you can relieve the pressure in them.
- Hot and Cold Treatments: You can use some warm water or cold water (ice) to apply on the hand that has been affected. Massage gently as many times as you can and this will in turn help in relieving pain and inflammation as well.
- Anti-inflammatory Medication: When you have carpal tunnel syndrome, the best remedy for it is talking anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. ibuprofen on daily basis. This will in turn relieve pain and swelling as well.
- Wearing Splint Wrist: The other remedy that you can use in order to cure the disorder is by wearing splint wrist. However, you are supposed to wear this during the night for about 1-2 weeks. The aim of wearing the splint is to provide the best support for your wrist.
- Exercise: It is important to at least do some exercises before and shortly after doing work. For instance, you can stand up then extend your arms carefully from the chest ensuring that your palms and fingers are all facing out. Count up to 5 and then release them. For your wrists, straighten them as much as you can while at the same time making tight fists with each of your hand. Repeat the exercises as much as you can to achieve the best results.
- Taking Short Breaks: Doing work without breaks causes buildup of muscle tension. To prevent this from taking place, the best remedy is taking short breaks whereby you can stand up on your feet; breathe in as slowly and profoundly as you can. Let your hands hang loosely and shake them for some seconds. Repeat this as many times as you can and this will reduce any muscle tension in your hand relieving you of the pain.
- Resting: If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, it is important for you to take some rest of your activities or hobbies. The main aim of resting is to immobilize your wrist so that there is no movement made that can make the median nerve be compressed more. Additionally, rest will ensure that you don’t perform daily activities and this will in turn take pressure off the median nerve that has been affected.
- Wrist Braces: It is important to get some wrist braces which will help in relieving any pain experienced on the wrist or hand. You will be required to wear them during the night or anytime you are using your hands for an extended period of time.
- Ergonomic Keyboard: If you got the disorder because of extensive computer use, it is important to purchase an ergonomic keyboard. This is considered to be the best remedy as it will ensure that any extra stress caused on your wrists has been kept at bay. It is important to seek advice from your physician so that he can give you’re the right ergonomic keyboard you are to use.
Diet for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since carpal tunnel syndrome mainly affects the median nerve making your hand ineffective to perform duties as required, it is important to keep off doing repetitive activities or work. Additionally, taking the right diet to facilitate the healing process is very important. As such, the diet that you take in should be well balanced inclusive of all the supplements in order to quicken the healing process.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Your diet should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables so as to boast your blood to circulate as required in the median nerve. It is important to ensure that each serving has some fruits e.g. bananas, pineapples and vegetables to boast blood levels in the nerve.
- Food Groups: Since you are required to take a balanced diet, all the food groups should be included i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. This will in turn help you regain enough strength to get back on your feet after the resting period. For instance, you can include meat/beans, ugali, bananas and calcium for your lunch meal then alternate during supper. This will in turn help boast your healing process.
Prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Just like any other disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome can as well be prevented especially if it is detected early enough. Read on to learn some of the prevention measures that you need to undertake.
- Exercise: It is important to at least set some time for doing exercise on daily basis and this will in turn prevent this disorder. Additionally, conditions such as high BP, diabetes and arthritis will be kept under control and this will prevent the disorder.
- Repetitive activities: It is highly advisable to keep off repetitive activities that are done throughout the day. This will in turn give your hands and eyes time to take a break and this will keep the disorder at bay. On the other hand, if you are working while sitting on a chair, it is important to sit up straight. In case you are working with a computer, ensure that the keys are tapped lightly as you type.
- Take Breaks: Taking breaks is important as they will give your hands a chance to relax. As you do this, make tight fists using both hands and count up to five then release the fists. Continue doing this until you are satisfied or until your hands feel relaxed. You can then resume your work.
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