Ouch! You thumped your wrist again and that terrible cramping, burning, excruciating pain is wreaking havoc.
Sometimes, it travels all the way up into your elbow or throbs when you are trying to work on your computer or pick up heavy objects. It's the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and it's making you miserable.
Carpal tunnel was almost unheard of until the advent of the computer, the scanner and other technological "improvements" designed to make our lives easier. It also can affect people who use their hands for any repetitive motion, such as reflexologists and massage technicians, musicians, hairstylists and jackhammer operators. I've had it, and I can tell you it can be a disabling disorder.
In my case, it shot up into my shoulder and felt like a heart attack. The pain feels almost like an aching electrical shock combined with pins and needles. It starts gradually and progresses until you are in agony. It can keep you from a good night's sleep, and worst case, can keep you from working.
This is all caused by the encapsulation of the median nerve, which passes through the carpal tunnel, a tiny opening inside the wrist about a quarter inch from the surface. Repetitive injuries from your daily routine cause the carpal tunnel to narrow, squeezing the median nerve and setting off your painful symptoms.
Surgery is sometimes recommended after the use of braces, prescribed anti-inflammatories and TENS therapy fails, but I have some sneaky ways to avoid it.
You want to get oxygen to those inflamed tissues, so take CoQ10 daily, don't go above 100 mgs. Eat a cup of fresh pineapple every day because the bromelain will reduce inflammation and swelling. Try this for two seeks and see if it helps.
Witch Hazel, a trusted remedy, reduces pain and swelling as does topical capsaicin cream. Emu oil works wonders on pain and it heals. You may warm the Witch Hazel and apply on a clean cloth. Keep it on the area for 20 minutes at a time. Remember, use gloves and no eye rubbing after capasaicin. I also like and use creams with boswellia, arnica montana and calendula, all effective homeopathic remedies.
St. John's Wort improves circulation and nerve function, but don't take it if you are on an anti-depressant. Magnesium is a tremendous help in all spasm disorders, 250 mgs at the first sign of pain and every four to six hours after.
You might have a bit more bowel activity so adjust your dose accordingly. Soak your hands and wrists in a bath of lukewarm water and a half cup of Dead Sea Salts for 20 minutes a day. You can do this in your bathtub before bed, add a little oil of Lavender and sleep peacefully through the night.
Acupuncture and acupressure are both beneficial, as is reflexology of the hands. Make sure your posture is good when you sit at your desk and if you work on your feet, wear well supported shoes.
WATER, WATER, WATER! Hydrating the tissues releases toxins and reduces swelling. Please see your healthcare professional before starting on any supplement if you are taking medication.
I put my own carpal tunnel into remission ten years ago! By being consistent and following my own advice, I have not had a flare-up in that time. You can do the same using nature's gift of natural healing.
Dr Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. To make an appointment, call 631.472.8139 or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway.com