Are you feeling as if there is something “off” with your wrists? It’s not necessarily sharp pain yet, but there’s discomfort and perhaps a slight weakness or numbness when your wrists are in use? While it’s impossible to diagnose you in this blog, and we encourage you to see a hand specialist as soon as this persists over several weeks, there may be some home remedies to ease your pain. Here are 3 home remedies to ease discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), also called median nerve compression, can occur when a nerve in your wrist is pinched, and the condition persists when the activity that is causing that pinched nerve is repeated daily. Here at Arora Hand Surgery, a hand, wrist, and elbow medical practice in southeast Michigan, we meet patients who have the onslaught of CTS due to activities such as gardening, bartending, and of course, excessive computer usage.
Some patients describe the beginning stages of carpal tunnel syndrome as feeling like tingling “pins and needles” are present in the fingers (usually the thumb and index fingers, the pinky is rarely affected), hands, wrists, and/or forearms. The tricky thing about CTS, though, is that it is frequently misdiagnosed because it shares symptoms with other conditions such as arthritis, wrist tendonitis, and repetitive strain injury (RSI).
If you do in fact have a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome and want to try some home remedies before going to the doctor, some of your discomfort can be eased with lifestyle changes.
Here are a few home remedies that may ease carpal tunnel syndrome discomfort:
- Use wrist splints to help keep your hands aligned. This means at nighttime too, as we also tend to flex and overextend wrists during slumber. A wrist splint provides support to the wrist and/or thumb while you carry out your usual day-to-day activities. They make daily task easier by increasing grip strength and reducing overall pain.
- Alternating between applying ice and warm water dipping. Cold and heat remedies have been known to ease CTS discomfort. We recommend soaking your hands/wrists in an ice bath for 10 to 15 minutes up to twice daily. Alternately, for warm water treatment, you can dip your hands in water between 92 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit up to four times daily. Be sure to break between cold and heat remedies for at least an hour.
- Make changes to your work style. As mentioned before, repetitive hand movements can worsen the pain. Think about the adjustments you can make in your day-to-day activities that would help ease discomfort. Some examples include adjusting your chair height so that there’s less strain on your wrists during typing, avoiding squeezing pliers aggressively, keeping wrist twists to a minimum, etc.
It’s important to point out that these 3 home remedies may ease discomfort from carpal tunnel syndrome but not cure the condition completely. If pain persists, the diagnosis and proper treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome is imperative for your quality of life and health. If you believe you may have carpal tunnel syndrome and you live in southeast Michigan, visit Dr. Avery Arora at one of his offices located in West Bloomfield, Warren, Macomb Township, or Howell. He is a hand surgeon that can and will help you.