18 Home Remedies For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition whereby there is excess pressure on the median nerve of the hand. The median nerve is the nerve around the wrist that allows for movement and feeling around the hand.

This condition causes a tingling and numbing sensation around the palm area in its initial stage. As the condition degenerates, it could lead to weakness, muscle and nerve damage to the fingers and hands. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur in one or both hands and is more prevalent in women than in men. It also occurs more often in people between the ages of 30 to 60 years.

The cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is unknown. However, as the carpal tunnel narrows and excessive pressure is exerted on the median nerve, the chances of having symptoms of CTS increases.

Risk factors that can increase the chances of having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include; fracture of the wrist, wrist arthritis, nutritional deficiency, workplace factors, anatomy of one’s wrist, alcohol consumption, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, infections, and diseases that cause irregular or abnormal protein deposits in the body such as amyloidosis.

Common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include;

  • tingling or numb feeling of the palm,
  • tingling sensation or numbness of the thumb area and the next 2 or 3 fingers,
  • clumsiness of hand when attempting to grip something,
  • pain around the wrist or hand, pain that could extend to the elbow,
  • weakness in one or both hands,
  • challenges with finger coordination,
  • atrophy of muscles under the thumb,
  • difficulty in carry everyday items such as handbags.

Here are some tips and good practices to consider, when dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndromes;

  • You should avoid sleeping on your wrist.
  • You could alternate hot and cold compresses on the affected part.
  • You could wear a wrist splint at night. However, make sure it is not too tight that it becomes uncomfortable.
  • Drop the bad habit of smoking as it tends to block the narrow blood vessels and exacerbate the symptoms.
  • Endeavor to take intermittent short breaks from repetitive work in your workplace such as data entry.
  • Also, take short breaks for stretching and massage.
  • You could engage in yoga that tends to stretch the palm and forearm.
  • Make the conscious effort to maintain good posture. This would help reduce the likelihood of worsening symptoms of CTS.
  • Eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables, that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to hasten the body’s healing process.
  • Consume wild cold-fish or lean meats instead of red meat.
  • When purchasing devices, such as computer keyboard and mouse, consider ergonomic devices.

Advanced cases of CTS would need medical attention.

Below are home remedies for treat symptoms of mild cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome;

1. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy involves working on the fingers, wrist, and the flexors of your hand. Massage helps to alleviate symptoms of CTS such as numbness, improper grasping, and pain. When you activate the pressure points in your hands, you improve mobility and increase the blood supply. Some of the massage techniques commonly used include cross-fiber friction, trigger point, stripping, and passive stretching. To alleviate CTS, rub your hands with warm coconut oil especially on the wrists and fingers. Repeat up to four times a day to get rid of the symptoms.

2. Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture is one of the most effective home treatments that can reverse carpal tunnel syndrome. It helps to reduce pain and restore the normal functioning of the nerves. You need to locate the pressure points on your wrists and then press gently with your thumb for a few minutes. Repeat the method several times a day until you alleviate the symptoms. If you have problems locating the acupoints, you may want to consult a skilled acupuncturist.

3. Cold Compress

Cold compress would help you manage pain and get rid of the inflammation. For quick relief, wrap a few ice cubes with a cotton cloth and apply on the affected area for ten minutes. Repeat the procedure after every one hour. While this remedy may not cure carpal tunnel syndrome, it will relieve some of the pressure exerted on the nerves. As a cautionary measure, you should never apply ice directly on your skin.

4. Castor Oil

Castor oil is capable of easing pain and reducing inflammation to restore the normal functioning of the wrists. Just take some warm castor oil and carefully massage the wrists, thumbs, and fingers. After that, wrap your hands with a flannel for thirty minutes. Use this remedy twice a day until the symptoms subside.

5. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt works as a natural relaxant for muscles thanks to the magnesium component. Epsom salt helps the arms to relax and tightens the muscles. Put one cup of Epsom salt in a basin of warm water and soak your hands, in the basin, for twenty minutes. Use this regimen 2-3 times a week until you get some relief. Although table salt may have some therapeutic properties, Epsom salt works the best.

6. Vitamin B6 Diet

Clinical studies have shown that people who suffer from CTS syndrome are deficient in vitamin B6. Ideally, vitamin B6 works as an analgesic by raising the threshold of pain. To restore the normal functioning of your hands, you should eat foods rich like brown rice, fish, chicken breast, avocados, bananas, and green leafy vegetables. Alternatively, you can take vitamin B6 supplements as advised by your doctor. Remember, too much vitamin B6 can harm your central nervous system.

7. Lose Weight

While carpal tunnel syndrome can affect people of any age, it’s more prevalent in overweight people. Excess weight can compress the nerves on your wrist. To get rid of the excess weight, you should eat well and engage in numerous exercises.

8. Stretching Exercises

The most effective exercises, for CTS, include stretching your fingers apart, rotating your wrists, or extending the wrist back and forth. All these exercises help to increase the blood circulation. Thankfully, you can do them while seating at your desk. Avoid any exercise that will make the pain or the swelling get worse. Your doctor can also recommend more exercises to increase the mobility of your hands.

9. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses are the best source of B vitamins, potassium, and iron which help in maintaining proper blood flow in your body. Also, they are rich in magnesium which helps your muscles to relax. Mix two to three teaspoons of blackstrap molasses in a glass of milk and drink two times a day. Continue with this regimen until your condition improves.

10. Carpel Tunnel Braces

Carpel Tunnel Braces are the best way to keep your wrist stabilized. Since we cannot control our wrists when we are asleep, the braces will ensure there is no pressure on the nerves. In case the condition is severe, your doctor may advise you to wear carpel tunnel braces throughout the day. They will allow you to get along your everyday activities like typing, cooking, etc. Make sure the braces are made of a breathable material.

11. Flaxseed Oil (Linseed Oil)

Flaxseed oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects which help to alleviate pain and swelling. Apart from that, the omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the inflammation, especially when your hand joints are affected. To keep CTS at bay, take 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil every day. If you are not happy with the taste, you can add it to your smoothie or juice.

12. Turmeric Powder And Milk

Turmeric contains curcumin compound which is effective in reducing the inflammation and swelling in your body. To alleviate CTS symptoms, take fresh turmeric alongside your diet. You could also add two teaspoons of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink the mixture in the morning and before going to bed.

13. Keep It In `Neutral’

Keep your body and wrist in a neutral position. Rearrange your workstation and keyboard to ensure it’s at eye level. This way, you’ll not have to bend your wrists. In addition to that, ensure your wrists and the forearms are in a straight position. The rule of thumb is not to be too far or too close to your work.

14. Get The Right Grip On Your Hand

This is probably the easiest trick of relieving carpal tunnel syndrome. When you have CTS, holding and gripping can become painful. Most people are used to holding the pen with the thumb, index and the middle finger. However, we tend to increase the pressure on our wrists without knowing. Moreover, this behavior could cause increased pressure on the tendons. So, if you have to grip something use the palm to distribute the load on every part of your hand.

15. Rotate Jobs

While it may not be easy to make changes in your routine, you should ask your employer to rotate you between jobs. If it’s not possible, take some rest to reduce certain movements. Jobs like carpentry, typing or any other work that requires the use of hand can cause and increase the severity of CTS. Such jobs should be put on hold to give your hands enough time to heal. Job rotation increases production and reduces stress, so it’s a win-win situation for you and your employer.

16. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium which play an important role in building strong muscles. Furthermore, ACV will reduce inflammation and restore your body’s pH. To get rid of CTS, add one tablespoon of unfiltered vinegar in a glass of hot water for 15 minutes. Drink the mixture a few times in a day. For better taste, add some natural honey. Alternatively, you can blend equal quantities of ACV and olive oil and rub on the affected area.

17. Take Nutritious Foods

Most processed foods such as cakes, meat, French fries, donuts, etc. can hinder the smooth functioning of the nerves. So, make sure you take foods such as peanut butter, green leafy vegetables, bananas, dark chocolate, fish, soya beans, and fruits. At the same time, avoid taking alcohol and tobacco.

18. Avoid Using Vibrating Tools

One of the risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome is continued use of vibrating tools. If your job requires that you use tools such as jackhammers, sanders, chisels, riveters, drills, and chainsaws, you may want to use less vibrating tools. Also, make sure you operate them at speeds that cause the least vibration. It’s crucial that you take frequent breaks in between.