Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Helpful Hints on Natural Remedies
Q: I am suffering great discomfort in my wrist and hand and this has been diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. At night I suffer terrible numbness and tingling in my fingers and hands. My GP has injected the area with steroids and says if the pain returns I may need surgery. This seems rather drastic and I hope you can suggest some alternatives.
Mrs C. L. London
A: CTS is caused by compression of the median nerve that runs under a band of tissue in the wrist. It is more common in women than men and has been linked to an underactive thyroid, fluid retention, weight gain and arthritis, and is often worse in people who use their wrists and hands repetitively. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid function – and if this is the root cause – once the thyroid condition is treated, CTS often disappears.
To help eliminate any water retention reduce your salt intake, especially from pre-packaged, tinned and junk foods which are often high in salt. Sleeping heavily on one side with your wrists tucked under your body can also trigger CTS. If you wake in the night with numb hands, massage them quickly to restore circulation. If symptoms are particularly severe use a wrist splint when practical-available from good pharmacies.
Several studies in America have found that CTS can be alleviated after taking between 50-150mg of vitamin B6 daily for three months. Try 50mg daily along with a B complex, and if there is no relief after two weeks, increase the B6 to 100mg.
Colleginase and Ligazyme have been formulated by an osteopath to help reduce inflammation, support ligaments and aid connective tissue repair. Take daily along with 1 gram of Mega EPA fish oil to further reduce the inflammation. For details of these supplements call Bio Care on 0121 433 3727.
Acupuncture, osteopathy and daily massage with homeopathic Rhus Tox ointment are also helpful.
Try the following yoga exercise which has helped many people. Sit with a straight back, extend both arms in front of the body at shoulder height. Clench the fists with the fingers holding the thumbs. Tighten all the muscles in the arms and shoulders and with the fingers firmly pulling on the thumbs, rotate the wrists slowly inwards 20 times. Relax for a moment and then rotate outwards. The wrists can become hot – but this sensation soon subsides.
For further information read Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Overuse Injuries by Tammy Crouch & Michael Madden. £9-95. To order call 0207 323 2382.