Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very painful condition that affects about 8-10 million people in the US and 60 million people worldwide.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel include numbness or tingling in the fingers and hands, pain and throbbing in the fingers, hand, wrist or forearm, a weakened grip, and difficulty moving or using the hands.
It typically results from overuse of the hands—such as with typing, writing, driving, playing sports, using tools, or doing other types of long-term or repetitive work involving the hands.
However, that doesn’t explain all the cases because carpal tunnel is also associated with pregnancy, having an underlying condition that affects the nerves and joints (such as arthritis, diabetes or autoimmune conditions), obesity and even depression.
But there is one thing that is present with ALL cases of carpal tunnel…
And knowing that is the key to getting real relief—without steroids or painkillers!
Here’s what you need to know:
Conventional carpal tunnel treatment—helpful to a point
Conventional medical treatment of CTS centers on stabilizing the wrist (with a brace), reducing pain and inflammation with medications, and surgical correction in severe cases. These may be helpful to a point but are not necessarily the ideal answer.
For example, NSAIDs cause gastrointestinal bleeding and have been linked to liver damage. Plus they’ve also been shown to cause psychosis, cognitive impairment and even hallucinations!
Corticosteroid injections can crystallize and cause pain and inflammation that is worse than the pain and inflammation caused by the carpal tunnel itself! In addition, they can raise blood sugar levels—a big concern for diabetics.
Lastly, surgery is not always effective and can cause side effects such as decrease in grip strength, infections and nerve damage. Some studies have found that fewer than half of individuals report that their condition improved greatly after surgery.
Safe, natural relief
Since carpal tunnel is frequently an overuse injury, the first step to feeling better is to stop or change whatever activity is causing the condition and allow the area to rest and heal. In some cases, this may require modifying your job duties or hobbies.
Also, embrace natural methods and therapies to help strengthen the wrist and support healing.
And most importantly, since CTS is primarily an inflammatory condition, it’s essential to reduce that inflammation! Less inflammation = less carpal tunnel suffering!
Here are some of the best ways you can help:
Have an anti-inflammatory diet
Reducing inflammation starts with your diet! It’s a matter of avoiding the wrong (inflammatory) foods and incorporating more of the right (anti-inflammatory) ones.
Strive to minimize or avoid these 10 foods, which are the WORST inflammation triggers:
- Sugar (including HFCS)
- Refined carbs (chips, crackers, breads, pasta, pastries)
- Vegetable oils
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
- Non-organic meats and farmed fish
- Soda (both diet and regular)
- Processed and fast foods
- Gluten (check out Great Taste No Gluten if you need help eliminating gluten from your diet)
- Artificial sweeteners
On the flip side, be sure to get lots of anti-inflammatory fresh fruits and vegetables, walnuts and almonds, leafy greens, wild caught fish, cage-free chicken and eggs, and grass-fed beef, and drink plenty of filtered water each day.
If you need some delicious ideas for working more of these good-for-you foods in your diet, as well as improving your digestion and ending heartburn and constipation, check out my Great Taste No Pain system.
Embrace the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric and fish oil
When it comes to natural anti-inflammatories, nothing beats turmeric and fish oil!
Turmeric has been shown to stop chronic inflammation which is the root cause of numerous health problems, including arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help to reduce or eliminate the inflammation that is behind carpal tunnel syndrome!
And the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are also a very potent anti-inflammatory, plus they lower blood pressure and cholesterol too!
I personally use both of these outstanding products to keep inflammation low from my full-contact karate sparring and marathon running, and they keep me going strong! And many of our satisfied clients over the last 10 years feel the same way.
Sit up straight!
Poor posture is linked to carpal tunnel syndrome. Strive to sit with your spine straight, avoid hunching or leaning your head forward, and try to keep computer screens or documents you’re reading at eye level.
Try physical therapy
According to physical therapist Rena Hughes (who also happens to be my cousin!): I advise ergonomic adjustments to workstations as needed, postural education, and activity modifications depending on occupation and hobbies.
In addition, stretching exercises, manual therapy techniques, ultrasound, and electro therapy may help too.
Try chiropractic adjustments
A skilled chiropractor can work on adjusting your wrist bones and realigning the carpal tunnel area, thereby relieving pressure on the nerve and providing relief.
Plus they can help realign your spine and counteract the effects of poor posture.
Try light therapy
Laser light therapy helps with tissue healing by enhancing circulation, oxygenation, and enzyme activity, and has been shown to be very helpful with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Many chiropractors provide laser light therapy, as well as some physicians and physical therapists.
If you choose laser light therapy, for optimal results be sure to eat an anti-inflammatory diet like I described above, and take Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplements--especially if you take statins!
Try peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil can be mixed with a few drops of coconut oil and applied to the painful area to promote healing, decrease swelling, reduce pain and curb inflammation. Check out our fine Mooseberry Peppermint Essential Oil as well as the other top quality oils in our collection.
Enjoy the safe, natural relief you can get from carpal tunnel syndrome now.
To your health,