What is Carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common problem associated with excessive movement of wrists.
Nerves blood vessels and ligaments use various tunnels in the body to move where they are going without getting any obstructions. Carpal tunnel is one such busy tunnel that allows these internal body elements through the wrist into the fingers.
When you use your hands and wrists for long periods doing repetitive motions, the tissues inside the tunnel get inflamed and swollen. This causes them to press on the nerves causing pain in the wrist and numbness in the fingers. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes and symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Typing on computer keyboard for a long time
- Playing a musical instrument
- Using vibrating hand tools
- Other repetitive manual works
With CTS you may experience following symptoms:
- Numbness in fingers
- Tingling and pain in fingers
- Wrist pain
- Thumb weakness
Who is at Risk of CTS?
- Anybody can get CTS but your risks of developing it can increase if you fall under the following categories.
- Working with repetitive hand movements
- Women specially around menopause time
- Square shape of wrist
- Thyroid disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Family history of CTS
- Previous bouts of CTS
- Excess weight and Obesity
6 Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is alway advisable to begin treatment as soon as the first symptoms of CTS are experienced. Following home remedies will help.
- Give Rest to Your Wrist - Give complete rest to your wrist for at least 2 weeks. Don’t do any repetitive movement of wrist.
- Keep Your hands Warm - Keep you hands warm. It will not let your joints and muscles stiffen. You can wear fingerless gloves
- Stretch - Stretch and move your fingers to get good circulation going. This will reduce stiffness
- Move Your Hands Up - This will help your veins to efficiently move blood particularly if you have fluid retention problems or when you are pregnant
- Wear Splints - Wearing splints in your hand and wrists will help you to keep your wrists straight. This will reduce pressure on median nerve that causes pain during CTS.
- Massage Your Hand - Give soothing massage to your wrists, hand and finger
Severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome patients may have to go for surgery if the other methods of treatment don’t work.
Prevention and Precautions
If you are involved in repetitive wrist movement activities then following precautions will help you to avoid CTS.
- Reduce repetitive hand movement into small chunks of short periods and rest instead of continuing in the long period at a stretch
- Stop when you begin to feel strain. Give sufficient rest before resuming
- Use larger joints in lifting and other heavy activities instead of wrists
- Don’t hold any object for very long in your hands particularly if it is heavy
- Use anti-vibration precautions while using vibrating hand tools
- Relax your grip periodically in activities such as writing and typing.
CTS is an easily avoidable condition in most cases. So take precautions and use home remedies to keep your hand, wrists and fingers away from pain.