Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, CTS is caused by a strained nerve in the wrist. Typically, the tissues around the median nerve of the hand swell and press on the nerve causing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. If left untreated, symptoms can persist and worsen over several weeks, and even years. The insulation on the nerves can even wear away causing permanent damage.
It is important you treat CTS at the first sign of symptoms to avoid further discomfort and irreversible damage. While your doctor will surely recommend you wear a splint and may even want to give you corticosteroid injections, there are a number of home remedies you can try to further alleviate pain and discomfort.
1. Ice. Applying an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to your wrists can help ease pain and soothe inflammation. Readers’ Digest Best Health Magazine recommends leaving the ice on your wrist for 10 minutes and repeating every hour until discomfort subsides.
2. Heat. Some people respond to heat better than they do to ice. Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine suggests soaking your hands and wrists in warm or hot water for 12- 15 minutes before going to bed each night. This home remedy may reduce the likelihood of being awoken from pain during the night.
3. Walnuts. These tasty nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to decrease inflammation. If you experience CTS symptoms, it may help to make it a habit to toss a handful into your salad or on top of yogurt. Walnuts can also be crushed and used as a substitute for breadcrumbs when baking chicken or fish filets, says Everyday Health.
4. Potatoes. Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions. Some of these enzyme reactions are involved in relieving CTS symptoms, says Everyday Health. In addition to potatoes, Vitamin B6 is found in most fruits (with the exception of citrus), poultry, and fish.
5. Turmeric. Everyone’s favorite Ayurvedic spice is a potent anti-inflammatory agent known to reduce pain and inflammation. For the greatest benefit, says Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine, take curcumin supplements
6. Pineapple. The tropical fruit contains a powerful enzyme known as bromelain. Bromelain is known to break down inflammatory proteins. It is can therefore be helpful in not only reducing pain caused by CTS, but also in healing the syndrome more quickly, says Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine.
7. Whole grains. Magnesium, found in whole grains, legumes, and green vegetables, is important in nerve function and muscle relaxation. Eat a magnesium-rich diet and consider taking a magnesium supplement to target CTS symptoms, says Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine.
8. Flaxseed oil. Like fish and olive oil, flaxseed oil is rich in inflammation reducing omega-3 fatty acids. Reader’s Digest Best Health Magazine recommends drinking a tablespoon mixed in with your morning orange juice or your evening salad dressing.
CTS can be irritating and disruptive to your personal and work life. So start including pineapple, walnuts, turmeric, and flaxseed oil in your everyday diet. In fact, these ingredients together sound like a tasty anti-inflammatory smoothie!
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