Carpal tunnel is a common nerve condition, the most common median nerve neuropathy, accounting for 90% of all neuropathies and affecting nearly 4% of the population, according to a report in NeuroSciences.
Women suffer from this syndrome that causes tingling, numbness and sometimes pain in the fingers and hand, more often than men.
This condition can be caused by performing repetitive tasks on the job, including using keyboards on a computer both at work and at home, frequently texting, playing video games and more.
If you aren’t sure if the symptoms you’re experiencing are actually a carpal tunnel, you’ll want to make an appointment with your healthcare provider, but while you’re waiting you can take a carpal tunnel test at home.
If it is determined that you have carpal tunnel, there are multiple ways to treat it.
Resting Your Hand with a Brace
Bracing or sprinting your wrist/hand with a carpal tunnel brace can help prevent pressure and too much repetitive use.
Typically, you’ll wear it at night while you’re sleeping which reduces pressure on the nerve that’s aggravated, though you may need to wear it during the day, resting your hand periodically.
While it’s not always easy to make changes to your routine at work or your personal habits, from typing and carpentry work to texting, sometimes the only real treatment option for carpal tunnel is rest.
Any type of activity that causes symptoms to worsen should be put on hold to allow for healing. That will reduce the chance of the condition worsening and the need to take further action like surgery.
You can do exercises for your hand/wrist at home to help the median nerve move more freely. Sometimes, especially at night when you wake up with numbness or pain, simply shaking it out can provide relief.
Other exercises that can help including going from first to making a stop sign: put your fingers together to make a fish and then slide them up to create a stop sign; repeat 10 times.
Another good exercise is using your thumb to touch each of your fingertips, one at a time until it makes the shape of the letter “O.” Do this several times.
Chiropractic Care or Physical Therapy
A chiropractor may be able to help realign the carpal tunnel area and adjust wrist bones to help relieve pressure on the nerve.
A physical therapist can work with you to help you regain mobility and strength while reducing pain. Those who specialize in physical therapy of the hands are likely to recommend “gliding exercises” which focus on the nerves and tendons to help improve mobility and provide pain relief.
There are some supplements you can take that can provide relief, something rather quickly. Those include vitamin B6 which is known to reduce nerve inflammation; bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple that acts as a natural anti-inflammatory; and a magnesium complex supplement made up of 259 mg of magnesium and 500 mg calcium which together can relax muscle tissue and blood vessels while restoring electrolyte levels.