Carpal tunnel is inflammation of a very small opening just below the base of the wrist. The carpal tunnel holds the median nerve that connects the forearm to the palm and fingers. The tunnel is very small and prone to swelling and inflammation caused by overuse, hormonal changes or arthritis. The result can be either mild tingling or crippling pain. It is seen in people who do repetitive hand motions for work or who work on computers.
Women are three times more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel than men and are most frequently diagnosed between 30 to 60 years
What are the Symptoms?
Numbness or tingling in the first three fingers or thumb
Weakness in the first three fingers or thumb
Worsening pain at night or upon waking up
Radiating pain in the wrist and forearms
Inability to make a fist
What are the Causes?
Jobs that involved repetitive wrist movement like keyboard occupations
Assembly line work and construction increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Excess typing at computer
Working with wrists extended
Forceful or repetitive hand movements that jam or extend the wrist
What Should I Eat?
Whole fruits and vegetables: Your body needs nutrients from fruit and vegetables to help fight inflammation and heal. Also, consuming foods rich in potassium, such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, melons, bananas, coconut water and cultured dairy, can flush excess fluid from areas.
Water: Drink 8 ounces of water every two hours to help decrease fluid retention and relieve pain.
Flax or chia seeds: Increasing omega-3 intake can help reduce inflammation.
Foods high in B6: Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, so make sure to include green leafy vegetables & beans. If you are eating meats then wild meats and wild caught fish in your diet.
Vegetable Juices & Green drinks: Any green drink that includes a variety of highly nutritious grasses and sea vegetables
What Should I Not Eat?
- Sugar: Increases inflammation that can increase pain.
- Sodium: Fluid retention increases swelling, so limit your sodium intake.
- Foods high in hydrogenated fats: Avoid hydrogenated oils from sources such as canola, corn, soybeans as well as pork products and grain-fed meats.
- Alcohol: Liquor will increase systemic inflammation and can reduce the amount of the body’s B vitamins, which is critical for healing.
- Processed grains, especially gluten: Grains, such as wheat and white bread and flour products, can help inflammation
What Should I Take?
- Vitamin B5 around 100mg 3 x a day
- Bromelain 500mg 3 x a day between meals – this is an enzyme found in pineapple and has a natural anti inflammatory effect. When juicing make sure you keep the skin on as there is a lot in the skin too
- Magnesium complex 500g calcium and 250g of magnesium. You can also get this from bentonite clay
- Ginkgo biloba 120mg 2 x daily as this herb helps improve circulation
- Bosweilla a1,200to 1,500mg of at least 60 to 65 % extract 2-3 x daily, this helps with inflammation.
- Essential oils Arnica, Cypress, Frankincense, Lemongrass, Marjoram and Wintergreen are all great. Simply massage 2-4 drops of essential oils over the area of pain. Cypress can aid in circulation and Helichrysum helps with nerve damage. Wintergreen provides pain relief.
- Dip the area into some apple cider vinegar, this helps to alleviate aches and pains. In just 2 weeks you wll feel a big difference, to the point of relief being quite instant. Place the ACV in a bowl and immerse the wrist into it for 15 minutes or so. Repeat for 2 weeks.
What Else Can I Do?
Have a good workspace posture
Good ergonomics are vital to reduce carpal tunnel symptoms
Computer at eye level and arms parallel to desk
Do not extend writs too much
Chiropractors can help to remove stress on the nerves, they can also examine your neck, shoulder, elbow, writs and central nervous system.