Do you feel numbness or tingling in your arms or hands? Is this something you have been feeling for some months or did it get worse in time? If this is the case, there is a possibility you are suffering from CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome).
Carpal tunnel syndrome could happen when a wrist nerve is pinched. Usually, it happens because of repeated everyday activities like frequently using vibrating hand tools, manual labor, or playing your favorite musical instrument. Some even say CTS can appear due to a lot of computer typing.
The disorder often starts out gradually and slowly. It can affect a single hand or both hands. Tingling or numbness can be felt in fingers, especially in thumbs and index fingers. Weakness or uncomfortable sensations can be felt in the wrists.
When you experience just mild CTS, symptoms are often very easy to manage with medication and lifestyle changes. So, let’s take a look at some very useful home remedies that will offer the CTS relief you seek.
Stop Repetitive Tasks
Whether you play the guitar, use hand drills, or type for most of the day, the best thing you can do is use a timer to limit the stress put on your body. Set the timer at 15 minutes. Then, start the activity. As the timer goes off, you should stop what you do and then simply wiggle your fingers. Move your wrists and then stretch your hands. The goal is to improve blood flow and it will reduce the negative feelings you have.
Start Protecting Your Wrists With Splints
When you keep wrists straight, you relieve pressure affecting the median nerve. Because of the fact that symptoms will get worse during the night, it is a good idea to wear splits during the evening. This relieves symptoms before they get a chance of actually starting.
If you have problems at work with the repetitive tasks, wrist splints can also be worn all throughout the day, or at least while you do the work.
Relax A Little
Whenever you find yourself forcing too much or straining due to tasks like typing or writing, you need to relax the grip and you have to reduce how much force you use. Tap the keys on your keyboard with less force and grab your pen with a softer grip. Basically, try to find ways in which you can relax your grip or wrists while you perform those repetitive actions.
As an extra tip, you may also want to avoid all the activities that will make wrists flex in all directions but in an extreme matter. Simply try to keep your wrists in a neutral position and do it as much as you can.
When you keep hands warm, it will help more than you think with stiffness and pain. This is why you should consider wearing a pair of fingerless gloves. You can also use hand warmers if this is a better option for you.
Don’t Forget To Stretch
Quick wrist exercises are very beneficial for dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome. You can even do them when you go shopping or when you sit at the desk working on your computer. For instance, you can make a fist. Then, you slide fingers until you see them straight. This very simple action can be repeated for ten times. As a result, you will relieve some of the wrist pressure you feel.
Elevate Wrists And Hands
This is a very effective home remedy in the event that you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome due to fractures, pregnancy, or issues you have with the retention of fluids.
You Can Use Medications
OTC (over-the-counter) medications can be effective to relieve some of the pain you feel. Two of the most common options are ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin (Bufferin). They are going to relieve pain but, at the same time, they can also reduce the inflammation you feel around the affected nerve.
Instead of over-the-counter pills, you can also use topical menthol. It was shown to help a lot in dealing with the pain you feel throughout the day when your work involves repetitive actions.
In the event that the tricks and tips mentioned above did not help with symptoms, you can always visit an occupational or physical therapist. These can easily teach you how to use advanced exercises that can relax hands and that can relieve symptoms.
Traditional Methods To Consider
Unfortunately, there are some serious cases of carpal tunnel syndrome you cannot deal with when you do not have the help of the doctor. They can recommend more serious drugs, usually corticosteroids that could lessen both inflammation and pain. Such drugs will reduce how much pressure and swelling are put on your median nerves. You can also use injections since they are very effective if you compare them with oral steroids. Such therapy is also effective when the CTS case is caused by an inflammatory condition (like rheumatoid arthritis).
The doctor could also recommend that you go through surgery that can relieve nerve pressure. Usually, this involves making around 2 incisions in the area that is affected. Then, ligaments are cut with the purpose of increasing how much space is present around the nerve. It also helps to release your nerve.
If you are worried, remember that this is a ligament that can eventually grow back. It will allow the nerve to have more space around it so your CTS symptoms will be reduced. When carpal tunnel syndrome is very severe, surgery might not be able to completely clear up symptoms. However, it can let you feel better. It will also prevent further nerve damage.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be really disruptive and painful for your life. When you experience the associated symptoms for the very first time, you should seriously consider going to the doctor. You can ask about how the pressure and the pain can be relieved.
When at-home natural remedies do not work, simply learn about the other medical treatments that are available. Eventually, the doctor can tell you to get surgery or prescribe corticosteroid injections.
Remember that one of the best ways to prevent the appearance of permanent nerve damage is early treatment and diagnosis.