Once you start to notice numbness on the side of your hand along with weakness or a tingling sensation for no reason, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. This develops once the nerve running through the forearm up to your hand ends up pinched or compressed.
The carpal tunnel is a slim space, but nine tendons responsible for flexing the first three fingers as well as the thumb also go through it.
If you suspect this condition, it’s good to know there are several ways to help reduce the pain or discomfort. When home remedies fail to work in your situation, surgery could be the last yet highly effective treatment option.
Conditions Causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Any condition causing the carpal tunnel to become smaller, in which it pinches the median nerve, can eventually lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Here are some of the conditions that can cause the constriction:
- Engaging in repetitive hand motions, especially when the wrist is excessively bent where the hands are lower than the wrist
- Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes
- Body pressure caused by pregnancy
If the symptoms are minor, home remedies are usually enough to manage the condition. However, if you find the symptoms debilitating, surgery might be an option worth considering. You can click here if you want to learn more about the available treatment options.
Reducing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain
Depending on the leading cause or contributing factor, here are several tips you should try to lessen the pain and other accompanying symptoms:
- Take A Break
Carpal tunnel syndrome could develop if constant pressure on a nerve in your wrist causes pain, tingling, and other symptoms. If you constantly use your wrists throughout the day, it’s likely to get sore or painful, and the symptoms can worsen over time.
One way to avoid this is to take regular breaks both at work and home. Those working on an assembly line or using a computer should prioritize allowing their wrists to rest often.
A good approach is to set the alarm every 15 minutes as a reminder to allow your wrists a short while to rest. Stop the activity you’re doing and try stretching out. Turn your hands around in circles to stretch them out. Make sure you’ll stretch out your fingers and the palms of your hands. Try making a fist and then spread your fingers.
- Use A Wrist Brace
Some people utilize a wrist brace to help lessen the discomfort. You can wear a brace when engaging in activities that place significant stress on the wrist.
You can also use a brace when you sleep at night. While sleeping, it’s common to sleep with the wrist in a flexed position, which can irritate the nerve and add pressure to the carpal tunnel. Wearing wrist support can prevent any pressure.
Although you can find braces in most stores or even online, the best move is to consult a doctor for a recommendation. It’s also possible to wear the brace during the day, but limit it to around six hours. Today, you can even have a customized brace you can wear during the day, even while at work.
- Perform Hand Exercises
There are specific movements you can try to ease the discomfort of carpal tunnel syndrome. Performing tendon-gliding exercises requiring the tendons to lengthen to their full potential may lessen the swelling around the median nerve.
- Inspect Your Work Area
When working on a desk, it’s crucial to keep your hands in a neutral position in which your fingers are in proper alignment with your forearms. When the wrist is in a neutral position, it can lessen the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. You can readily adjust a desktop computer as necessary. The main priority is to take care not to overextend the wrists while typing or engaging in any activity.
- Apply A Cold Compress
According to some experts, the application of ice on the wrist may help ease the pain. For some, holding a cold pack on the palm for 20 minutes can lessen the discomfort. Once irritation or redness occurs if the application is too long, remove the cold pack.
- Use An Over-The-Counter Pain Medication
An alternative to reduce the discomfort is to take over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen and ibuprofen. These medications could ease the pain and inflammation in your wrists.
- Practice Yoga
If you’re up for it, you can try out yoga to lessen stress and strengthen the muscles at the same time. Regularly performing yoga could strengthen the muscles in your wrists and hands, allowing them to stretch. Yoga may reduce some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome while also making it easier for you to hold objects if you have a weak grip.
- Have A Supplement
It might be best to consult a doctor for a supplement to help minimize the symptoms. If you’ve heard that taking B vitamins may help ease the pain, consult your doctor first. Although B vitamins are crucial for nerve function, you can take a supplement only if you’re deficient in the said vitamin. But in most instances, you can use one if your doctor approves.
Additionally, remember that supplements are likely to interact with other medications. With this in mind, inform your doctor about any medications you’re currently using.
You might want to try out acupuncture which might provide relief to the pain. Some people claim to have an improvement after undergoing such a remedy. Based on studies, acupuncture could improve blood flow in the arteries supplying blood to the nerves. It might be the reason why there’s a reduction in the symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is likely to develop when your hands are under constant stress. Depending on the work or activity you’re engaged in most of the time, the pain and other symptoms can be annoying and even disrupt productivity. If you want to continue with your activities with minimal disruption, these valuable tips will come in handy.