Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition of the wrists that can often be so painful as to wake you up in the night. Other symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are shooting pains up the wrist or forearm, pins and needles in your hands when driving or pain in your lower arm, wrist and hands whilst at work. If you suspect you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome there are some vitamin and health supplements you can use to help reduce the symptoms or, if you suspect you may be at risk of the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – you can take these health and vitamin supplements as a precautionary measure.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The ligaments and bones of the wrist are correctly called the carpus, which form the route to the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is important as it has the median nerve running through it – which is responsible for controlling the movement of your hand and the feelings in it. The carpal tunnel also controls the tendons connecting your forearm muscles to the muscles in your hand. Any inflammation in the carpal tunnel – due to bone spurs, fluid retention, ligament or tendon swelling, dislocation … etc – results in the media nerve being pressed against the tunnel the result of which is that you’ll feel pain. This pain can be a throbbing pain in the wrist or a numbness and weakness developing in the fingers and thumb, for which some people think a wrist support will help to overcome.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is regarded as being a stress injury resulting from a repetitive and prolonged action being performed by the hands and/or fingers. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can arise in pretty well anyone regardless of their occupation or interests, as there are few things in life that we do which don’t require the use of our hands. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can affect musicians, assembly line workers, racket sports players or indeed any sport involving impact on the hands … etc – not to mention those who use computer keyboards for prolonged periods every day. There are also some other causes that can invoke or exasperate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms notably; a trauma to the wrist and women with fluctuating estrogen levels, who suffer increased water retention – due to pregnancy, the menopause or birth control pills. Indeed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in women aged 30 to 60 than men, especially those who are obese and have been pregnant. Finally, other underlying conditions known to affect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are hypothyroidism, diabetes and Raynaud’s disease (rheumatoid arthritis).
Supplements to help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you are trying to avoid the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, perhaps due to your job or other interests, then vitamin B6 is a vitamin supplement to consider taking, as it believed that a deficiency of B6 can make you susceptible to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This vitamin important as it is known to promote healthy nerve tissue and reduce the effects of inflammation in the body. GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is one of the nerve chemicals in the brain that control our levels of pain – vitamin B6 is also believed to stimulate its production. Take three 50mg doses/tablets of vitamin B6 three times a day for three weeks, then rest from the vitamin for three weeks. Or, if you already have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the symptoms don’t improve after three weeks – visit your physician. However, regardless of your circumstances, never exceed the maximum vitamin B6 dosage of 200mg a day. An alternative to vitamin B6 is pyridoxal-5-phosphate. This is a by-product of vitamin B6, which some people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome find helpful. Bromelain, the powerful enzyme from pineapple, is another excellent anti-inflammatory agent to take. Bromelain health supplement should be taken as a 1000mg dose when the pain is at its worst and then 500mg when the pain is more bearable. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers on anti-coagulant drugs should not use this health supplement without consulting their physician. Finally, in the health supplement category, there’s turmeric. This herb contains curcumin which will ease any swelling due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although more expensive than the other three suggestions, turmeric is safe for long term usage – so use 400mg three times a day when the pain is bad and halve the dose on better days.
Other things to do for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
One obvious thing to do is reduce the number of times you perform the action that’s causing the pain. If your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is due to a recreational activity this shouldn’t be a problem – but if it is work related this could be awkward. Regarding work, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can often result from a poor posture. For example, if you work at a keyboard check the keyboard height to your sitting position is correct, indeed are you sitting correctly, is the keyboard correctly positioned on your desk … etc. Sometimes applying an ice pack to the affected area can help, 10 minutes every hour is the normal way to apply this, or even raising the wrist(s) on a pillow when sleeping can help. Alternatively there are wrist, hand and finger exercises to help alleviate the pain and reduce the need for a steroid injection, but if the exercises are painful – don’t do them. Don’t forget too that, some pains in the hand or wrist could indicate other problems, such as arthritis, so do visit your physician for a consultation.