Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression
of a nerve in the median of the wrist that produces
numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain. Weakness and
tingling in the first three fingers, thumb, and the
palm surface of the hands can also occur. Pain, burning,
and/or tingling sensations can also manifest along the
entire arm, neck, hips, and thigh. Carpal tunnel can
occur in one of both wrists, and in some cases gripping
strength and the ability to pick up and hold objects
can be significantly impaired. The condition is most
common in women 35 and older.
Conditions that can create swelling or fluid shifts
that contribute to pressure on the wrist nerve, such
as pregnancy; low thyroid functions; occupations that
require forceful or repetitive wrist movements; vitamin
B6 deficiencies (monoamine oxidase inhibitor anti-depressant
drugs can create a deficiency in vitamin B6 and should
be avoided if possible); nerve disorders; compression
of the nerve root of the sixth cervical vertebra due
to misalignment of the neck; muscular spasm; osteoarthritis;
disk disease; or tumor can all cause or contribute to
the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and therefore
must be ruled out or properly addressed before lasting
improvement can be achieved.. Carpal tunnel syndrome
may also be secondary to other wrist conditions, such
The appropriate treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
varies, depending on its cause(s). Following treatment,
symptoms may improve in one week or take several months.
Often carpal tunnel can be successfully treated without
surgery, although sometimes surgery is necessary.
What To Consider
Carpal tunnel is often a misdiagnosis of thoracic outlet
compression syndrome, in which pressure to the lower
cervical and upper thoracic nerves results in dysfunction
of the tissues and nerves associated with the brachial
nerves. If this is the case, then treatment should focus
on resolving the thoracic outlet compression first.
Many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can also be traced
to interference fields in the arm, shoulders, or neck,
and are often caused by vaccination scars.
a whole foods diet and limit your protein intake. Also
eliminate foods containing yellow dyes, and avoid stressor
foods that deplete the body's level of B6 such as excessive
consumption of sugars, caffeine, and processed grains
and corn. Good foods to focus on are whole grains, seeds,
and nuts, soybeans, fresh salmon, brewer's yeast, molasses,
liver, wheat bran and germ, and cod.
People with carpal tunnel syndrome often have a large
deficiency of vitamin B6, or have lifestyle factors
that inhibit B6 metabolism such as stress, or ingesting
Yellow Dye No. 5 and tartrazine derivatives. A deficiency
of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, can also cause
a pyridoxine-responsive neuropathy (nerve disorder).
Treatment with B6 may relieve the symptoms in many cases,
eliminating the need for surgery. Daily dosage ranges
from 25-300 mg, depending on the person's biochemistry.
Caution: Pyridoxine supplementation may create
a nerve disorder (sensory neuropathy) in dosages as
low as 300 mg, if taken daily for long periods. However,
most of the cases of vitamin B6 toxicity have been reported
with dosages from 2-5 grams per day.
In addition to vitamin B6, other useful nutrients to
relief the pain and help speed healing include vitamin
B complex, magnesium, essential fatty acids, folic acid,
bromelain, coenzyme Q10, kelp, manganese, protease enzyme
formula, pycnogenol, and zinc. Thyroid hormone can also be helpful in cases
of carpal tunnel related to low thyroid function.
Marjoram, lavender, or eucalyptus essential oils rubbed directly into
the tender areas can help relieve symptoms.
Rescue Remedy to help alleviate stress.
herbs effectively support the broader treatment of carpal
tunnel syndrome. A simple approach involves combining
equal parts of meadowsweet and willow bark tinctures
and taking one teaspoonful of this mixture three times
a day. Other useful herbs include aloe vera, butcher's
broom, corn silk, devil's claw, cayenne (capsicum),
ginkgo, gravel root, marshmallow, skullcap, turmeric
(curcumin), wintergreen oil, yarrow, yucca.
Aconite, Arsen alb., Ignatia, Nat mur., Chamomilla,
and Colchicum are useful homeopathic remedies.
Note, however, that homeopathic treatment tends to be
constitutional in nature and is therefore normally long-term,
but usually successful.
Contrast application (hot and cold water packs applied one to three times
Avoid repetitive wrist movement.
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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