Ariel Laur is a professional writer who has suffered and overcome the ravages of carpal tunnel syndrome through natural remedies.
If you are suffering with pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, you are not alone; it is believed that 8% of the population is suffering along with you. Carpel tunnel syndrome takes one of the greatest technological advances of the 21 century, the computer, and turns it into a source of frustration and pain for those suffering with the condition.
What is the Carpal Tunnel?
The carpal tunnel is located in your wrist and protects the nerves and tendons that bend your fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is believed by some, that repetitive patterns of hand use can cause damage to the nerves and tendons that lie in the carpel tunnel. Pressure on these nerves causes pain, numbness, tingling and sometimes hand weakness and this is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Luckily, carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented, treated and relieved for many.
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
- Intermittent tingling and/or numbness in your fingers, but not your pinky.
- Weakness in your hand.
- Sleepless nights
- Injury to the wrist
- Women are more likely to experience carpal tunnel syndrome since they have smaller wrists and are more prone to pain from damage and swelling. They also may be experiencing fluid retention due to pregnancy or menopause
- Fluid retention
- Using vibrating tools
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
While many believe that repetitive and forceful movements of the hand can cause carpal tunnel syndrome there is no clinical data that proves this.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Solutions
If you believe that you are in the early stages of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, with less than 10 months of symptoms, the prognosis is excellent and you can begin to treat your condition by making changes to your work environment by:
- Taking computer breaks, approximately every 30 minutes. There is software that gives break reminders like “Workpace” and “RSI Guard.”
- Wearing a fingerless glove when typing to keep the hand warm and relaxed.
- Working in a warm environment
- Adjust your computer position so that your arms and wrists are held horizontal to the floor, feet are flat on the floor, top of computer screen is about the height of your eyes. See diagram.
- Try a track ball mouse or a pencil type mouse.
- Try using the mouse with your opposite hand and switching back and forth.
- Try a ergonomic keyboard or Dvorak keyboard
- Keep a stress ball or tennis ball near your work station to squeeze when you are not typing, this will strengthen your muscles.
Try Reflexology for pain relief and healing
There is an reflexology point that can help relieve wrist pain and carpal tunnel pain. To find the pressure point place three fingers below the wrist that is causing pain. Use firm pressure on this spot and hold it for 2 to 3 minutes while pressing the exact opposite side of the arm. Try using this 2 -3 times a day or whenever you remember.
Carpal Tunnel Reflexology Tutorial
Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief with these Yoga Exercises
Other changes that may help include:
- Applying ice to reduce swelling to the area for approximately 15 minutes 3-5 times a day.
- Stretch your hand out by spreading your fingers out and bending your hand back.
- Try not to sleep on your hands at night; you may not even realize that you are doing this.
- Begin using yoga that focuses on the hand and upper body.
- Try an arm massage by placing pressure on your arm below the elbow and pushing down towards the hand. Try this twice a day.
- Akido wrist stretches video
Immediate Pain Solutions
These are particularly helpful for carpal tunnel pain that keeps you awake at night.
Wrist Brace Choices
- Take a pain reliever such as ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin or Aleve)
- Apply Ben Gay to the painful areas (Arnica is a herbal cream that works like Ben Gay)
- Apply Ice
- Apply heat, this relieves the tension in the area which causes the pain, you can try a water bottle.
- Drink a stress reducing herbal tea to help relieve tension.
- Elevating the arm and hand to relieve any swelling.
- Using an ace bandage wrapped around the bottom of your hand, wrist and arm until purchasing a wrist brace, this should alleviate pain and allow you to sleep at night.
- Slow breathing this will help your whole body relax and counteract the tension that is caused by the pain.
Dietary Suppliments can Alleviate the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Vitamin B6 (2mg per day) has been found to diminish the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome by effecting the neurotransmitters.
Cod Liver Oil works to decrease inflammation and thereby joint pain that is associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
More serious pain and ongoing symptoms may make you want to adjust your work habits more extensively by using your hands less. You can try:
- Using voice activated software to dictate notes, letters and emails. Newer smart phones come with voice activation software such Siri for the iPhone. Two programs that allow you to dicate are MacSpeech Dictate and Dragon Naturally Speaking.
- Using the telephone more often.
- Setting up more ‘face to face’ meetings that accomplish more than numerous email conversations.
If you are experiencing pain, tinging or numbness in your fingers or wrist you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, that is the bad news, the good news is that there are a lot of treatments options and ergonomic changes that can help you. Changes such as taking breaks, setting up an ergonomic friendly work space and even drinking tea can help you to find relief and get back to a high level of computer productivity.
I began suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome about 6 years ago on a job that required constant computer use. At the time I worked on two computers, one was a laptop and one was a desktop. Although it is believed that desktops are less likely to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, this one did and no matter what ergonomic adjustments I made, the pain remained as long as I worked at that station, however when I worked on the laptop I had no pain whatsoever. This experience makes me question the suggested ergonomic seating methods given to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, although they may be generally helpful you might need to experiment and try different seating positions and computer setups to see what works best for you. After this experience I was very careful about my computer desk set up and this has helped a great deal. I also find I naturally take breaks without reminders when I working at my computer. My most recent pain issue is a result of some wallpaper removal work that I have been doing; this has caused me to have pain mostly at night.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to substitute for the care of a medical professional.
More Good Information about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal Tunel Syndrome Treatments; Stretches and Exercises
Explore videos of the many exercises and massage methods that can relieve the pain and suffering associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
© 2014 Ariel Laur