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Have you felt tingling or numbness in your hands or arms? Has this sensation remained for several months or has the problem worsened over time? If so, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTC).
Do you know what carpal tunnel syndrome is?
Women are three times more likely to experience CTC than men. This may be because women usually have smaller wrists, and that causes nerves and muscles to have less space to develop.
CTC can occur when a nerve is pinched at the wrist. In many cases, that is the result of an activity that we repeat continuously, such as the use of tools that produce a vibration, or play a musical instrument or a work in which we continuously use our hands as the daily use of the computer in work or at home.
This disorder begins gradually and can affect one or both hands. The person may experience numbness or tingling in the fingers, especially the index fingers and thumb. You may also feel a sense of weakness in your wrists.
Home remedies to improve carpal tunnel syndrome
If this syndrome is mild, you may be able to relieve symptoms with changes in your lifestyle and medications. Here are nine home remedies for carpal tunnel relief:
1. Take breaks in repetitive tasks
Whether you are writing, playing the guitar or using a hand drill, you can set an alarm that sounds every hour and at that moment when it sounds, stop doing what you are doing and start moving the fingers Stretch your hands and move your wrists to improve blood flow in these areas.
2. Use splints on wrists
Keeping wrists straight can help relieve pressure is highly advisable. The symptoms of this syndrome are more common at night, so the use of a splint can help relieve your symptoms before the day begins. If you have to do repetitive tasks at work, you can use wrist splints during the day while doing manual work.
3. Lighten the work and pressure
If you use your wrist constantly in tasks such as writing on the computer, using a cash register, any sports activity, etc. reduce the force you are using to perform the activity. Try using a splint or, touch the keys more lightly.
4. Realize how many times your wrist flexes
Avoid activities that cause your wrists to bend to the extreme in any direction. Try to keep your wrists straight as long as possible.
5. Keep the area warm
Keep your hands warm as this can help with pain and stiffness. Consider the use of fingerless gloves or hand warmers. You can also use warm compresses for a few minutes to reduce the area and relieve pain
6. Extend the wrist
You can do exercises with your wrist fast, for example, make a fist with your hand and then stretch your fingers until they are straight again. Repeat this action five to ten times. This can help make any pressure on your wrist less intense.
7. Raise your hands and wrists whenever possible
This home remedy is particularly effective if your CTC is caused by pregnancy, fractures, or other problems such as fluid retention.
8. Use over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen may be beneficial. Not only can they relieve any pain, they can also reduce inflammation around the nerve.
9. Use menthol for pain relief
In a study of workers in slaughterhouses suffering from CTC syndrome, the researchers found that application of topical menthol considerably reduced pain during their workday. The workers in this study used Biofreeze. Be sure to follow the instructions that come in the ointment or ask your doctor how much you should use.
If these tips and tricks do not cause any improvement, consider visiting a physical or occupational therapist. A specialist can give you exercises to relax your hands and relieve your symptoms.
10. Use ice
Ice treatment is not advisable in winter but it can be used the rest of the year. An ice pack or a compress frozen for 20 minutes in the affected area can help reduce inflammation. Wrap the bag in a damp towel so that the ice does not burn the skin and the therapy works better.
Traditional treatments for the carpal tunnel
The most severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome may require the help of your doctor
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to decrease your pain and inflammation. These drugs reduce the amount of swelling and pressure exerted on the nerve. Injections are much more effective than oral steroids. This therapy can be particularly effective if your CTC is caused by inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, these should be the last options since these medications have many side effects such as: fluid retention, increase in body weight, alteration of the menstrual cycle, etc.
When is surgery necessary?
Your doctor may also use surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. This typically involves making one or two incisions in the affected area and cutting the ligament involved. This will release the nerve and increase the space around it, this only applies in severe cases that do not improve with conventional therapies.
The ligament will have more space and that will allow more space for the nerve than it had before . If your CTC is severe, the surgery may not cause the symptoms to improve completely, but it can help you feel better and prevent any further damage to the nerve.
CTC can be very painful and harm you in your activities of daily living. . If you have been experiencing symptoms for some time, consult your doctor to ask about alternatives you have to relieve pain and pressure.
If home remedies do not work, find out more about the other treatment methods available
This may include cortisone injections or surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best way to prevent permanent nerve damage.