Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where numbness is experienced in hand along with a tingling sensation and weakness. This may be due to the pressure exerted on the median nerve that runs through the wrist. The median nerve, along with a group of tendons runs from the forearm to the hand through a tiny passage which is known as the carpal tunnel.This nerve is responsible for controlling all movement and feeling in the thumb and the forefinger, middle finger and ring finger in the hand. Pressure due to any illness like hypothyroidism, arthritis, or diabetes, and repetitive movement (like using the keyboard) can cause a swelling which leads to the development of what is known as the carpal tunnel syndrome. There are several home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome that give good relief from the pain.
Causes & Symptoms
- Causes: Excess pressure on the wrists, obstruction in blood flow, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis
- Symptoms: numbness, tingling sensation and pain in the thumb and first three fingers, weakness in the hand muscles
10 Best Home Remedies For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often diagnosed based on the history, physical examination and a range of tests run o n the patient. There are several effective home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome that give good relief, and here are the ten best:
10. Massage Therapy
- Heat (mildly) 3 to 4 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil.
- Apply the warm coconut oil on the painful areas.
- Rub the oil in gently and massage gently for 10 minutes or so.
- Repeat the process two to three times daily for a week.
Massage therapy is one of the best non-invasive ways to deal with the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Massaging has been used down the ages for getting relief from muscular and nerve pains caused due to various reasons. If you are unable to massage yourself, you may ask a family member to do it or go to a professional masseuse or a massager who can do a thorough job of it. Massage therapy is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Massage therapy does not cause any adverse side effects provided the person giving the massage has some knowledge about it. Inexperienced people can cause damage to the wrists.
9. Epsom Salt Soak
- Take 1 cup of Epsom Salt. Tie it up in a soft muslin cloth.
- Fill your bathtub with warm water. Tie the bundled Epsom Salt to the inlet faucet.
- Soak in the Epsom salt bathwater for 30 minutes. Repeat the process daily for a week or so.
Epsom salt, which is a natural mineral, is found abundantly in the natural springs located in Epsom (which gives it the name) in Surrey County, the UK. Epsom salt has loads of magnesium sulfate, which has a soothing effect on the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and helps reduce the inflammation. Epsom salt helps in recovering from the pain faster as it hastens the healing process by acting on the muscles and nerves. Epsom salt is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
While Epsom salt does not cause any adverse side effects, it may cause a burning sensation on sensitive skin.
8. Castor Oil
- Take 2-3 teaspoons of therapeutic castor oil. Heat the castor oil mildly. Apply on the painful areas and massage gently.
- Rub the fingers and wrists and back of your hands. Let it sit for an hour or so.
- Wash with mild soap and dry. Continue the process twice daily for a week or so.
Castor oil has medicinal properties and has been used to reduce inflammation caused by injuries. Apart from being an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps in relieving the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Repeated massages help get relief from the pain and ensure that the affected nerves regain their functions, moreover massaging helps enhance the blood circulation in the affected parts and hastens the healing process. Castor oil is an excellent home remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome.
While castor oil does not cause any adverse side effects, it can be quite messy as the viscosity level is quite high and unrefined castor oil can smell pretty bad.
7. Get A Good Night’s Slumber
- Make sure you go to bed early every night.
- A good night’s sleep is essential every night.
- Sleep helps rejuvenate the system and repair itself
- Avoid sleeping during the day.
There is no cure as good as a good night’s slumber. Getting you quota of a minimum of 8 hours every night is essential for maintaining good health. A good night’s sleep ensures that the muscles and nerves get the break they deserve, and it also helps in rejuvenating the entire system to make it ready for another challenging day right from the next morning. A good night’s slumber is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
While going to bed early in the night is advisable, it is not a great idea to sleep during the day as it can upset the sleep pattern.
6. Cold Compress
- Take a handful of ice cubes from your fridge.
- Bundle the ice cubes in a polythene carry bag.
- Place the ice pack against on the painful areas for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat the process as many times as required until the pain subsides.
- Continue the process for 2 to 3 days
A cold compress can work wonders and relieve the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. The ice works on the swelling as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps bring down the inflammation. A cold compress also causes the skin and underlying muscles to turn numb so that the pain is not felt, moreover it works on the underlying tissue to remove the pain. A cold compress can also prevent the stiffening of the muscles affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. A cold compress is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
A cold compress does not cause any adverse side effects. However, avoid applying ice cubes directly on the skin as it is very dangerous and may cause frostbite and damage the skin.
5. Lavender Essential Oil
- Take 1/2 teaspoon of undiluted lavender essential oil.
- Take a teaspoon of virgin olive oil. Apply the mixture on the painful areas.
- Massage gently for a few minutes. Allow it to steep for an hour or so. Continue the process daily for a week or so.
Lavender belongs to the mint family of herbs, and its oil has been used as an effective herbal remedy for relieving pain for ages. The oil is used extensively for preparing balms, salves, perfumes and other cosmetic preparations. Lavender essential oil is packed with over 47 chemical compounds including dimethyl vinyl hexenylibutryate, which is the main constituent, as well as octatriene, Eucalyptol, Camphor, etc which act on the inflammation and pain caused by the carpal tunnel syndrome to offer relief. Lavender essential oil is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
While lavender essential oil does not cause any adverse side effects, it should not be applied without being diluted as it can cause irritation and a burning sensation on sensitive skin.
4. Garlic & Honey Poultice
- Take 2 or 3 pods of fresh garlic and peel the skin. Wash the peeled garlic and crush to a soft paste. Take 2 teaspoons of pure, raw honey.
- Mix honey and garlic to make a thick paste. Apply on the painful areas and allow it to sit for a few hours. Repeat process 2 to 3 times daily for a week
Honey is a natural medicinal product that has been used to treat various skin afflictions and is a great natural antioxidant and an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. It helps contain the inflammation caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Garlic is a herb that has some amazing curative properties. It contains volatile oils like allin; allinase and allicin present in garlic along with sulphur compounds make it a wonder herb that is used to treat various aches and pains. Together garlic and honey make one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
While honey and garlic do not cause any adverse side effects when applied topically as a poultice, garlic may cause skin irritation when applied on the sensitive skin.
3. Arnica Oil
- Take 1/2 teaspoon of Arnica essential oil. Mix it with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply on the painful areas and massage gently. Let it sit for an hour or so.
- Repeat the process two to three times daily for a week
Arnica essential oil is got from the medicinal herb Arnica and has some great curative properties. Arnica has excellent analgesic properties that help get relief from the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Arnica oil enhances blood circulation and helps fresh blood to rush to the affected areas, offering relief from pain. Arnica essential oil is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Arnica oil does not have any adverse side effects when applied after diluting with coconut oil. However, it is not advisable to apply Arnica essential in its undiluted form as it can damage the skin.
2. Turmeric Poultice
- Take 2 teaspoons of pure Turmeric powder. Sprinkle some water and make a thick paste.
- Gently heat the Turmeric paste. Apply the warm Turmeric paste on the painful areas.
- Take a small piece of surgical gauze and cover it. Let it sit for 2 to 3 hours.
- Repeat the process for 3 to 4 days.
Turmeric is often referred to as the magic spice and is used extensively in the Ayurvedic system of medicinal for treating a host of maladies. It has great antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce the swelling caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. The curcumin content in Turmeric acts on the muscles and helps in hastening the healing process. Turmeric is one of the best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Turmeric is a natural skin-friendly medicine that does not cause any adverse side effects and is safe to use.
1. Hand Stretches
- Flex your fingers and stretch them. Close your hands into a tight fist.
- Join both palms in a prayer position. Spread the fingers apart with tips touching each other (of both hands). Press and release simultaneously.
- Use a soft squeeze ball to give more exercise to your wrists.
Exercise and hand and finger stretches are probably the most natural and easiest remedies that can be done at any time and in any place. While sitting at your desk keep stretching and bending your fingers or squeezing a soft squeeze ball to enhance the blood circulation to the fingers and the wrist areas. Exercise is one of the safest and best home remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome that can give good relief from the pain.
See a doctor immediately if:
- The pain is too severe and does not subside with medication
- Movement of the wrists or fingers becomes tough
- The swelling does not subside with treatment