Carpal tunnel is very common, impacting over 3 million new Americans annually. If you’re looking for a natural remedy for carpal tunnel to alleviate the tingling and numbness in your hand and arm, there are a lot of options available. Some of the natural Carpal Tunnel remedies include basic care routines, while some key supplements can make a huge impact on your pain and discomfort.
9 Natural Carpal Tunnel Remedies That Work
1. CBD Oils, Tinctures, or Creams
CBD oils and tinctures are becoming popular choices for pain sufferers that allow them to apply the CBD directly where they experience pain. The problem with CBD is that it was considered a Schedule I substance, making studying the effects of CBD difficult.
Limited studies have been conducted in the last few years, but there are people across the world that state CBD has been able to help them better manage pain.
Studies on animals indicate that there is an analgesic effect when using CBD, meaning that it has anti-inflammatory properties. A 2017 study found that CBD was able to provide some relief for neuropathic pain.
Additional studies suggest that there’s substantial evidence that CBD can help improve chronic pain.
There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that DMSO can help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms. As an organic commercial solvent, DMSO is often used for its powerful delivery properties that allow medicine and other ingredients to absorb in the body faster and at higher levels.
Mixing DMSO with other ingredients allows DMSO to promote higher delivery rates, improving the power of the additional ingredients.
Used as a cream, liquid, or gel, a lot of people use this solvent to help combat nerve pain. While studies have been done extensively on DMSO, there haven’t been many relating to carpal tunnel specifically. A few of the studies that show the most promise are:
- 1993 study that shows the ability to block nerve pain
- A British Columbia study that suggests that over 1 million people in Canada alone suffering from neuropathic pain can benefit from DMSO usage
Applying a cream that’s been pre-formulated is the best option. The application of DMSO directly on the wrist and the area of pain can help relieve pain in as little as one day. Continued usage is ideal and will provide long-term pain relief.
While undiluted DMSO in liquid form can be used, oftentimes it can be accompanied by an itching or burning sensation. You can avoid most of this side effect by using creams and gels that have DMSO in them.
3. Wear Splints
A common natural remedy for carpal tunnel is to wear splints. The goal is to wear the splint before the symptoms present themselves. The median nerve, which is responsible for carpal tunnel pain, can have pressure on it relieved when wearing split.
People that work in fields where the repetitive tasks at work are responsible for their condition, should wear splints during the day to alleviate the pressure on the nerve.
Since the symptoms are most common at night, splints can help you sleep better.
A 2015 study noted that splinting was only beneficial for carpal tunnel sufferers that had symptoms at night. Since splints are readily available and may help alleviate pain and discomfort, it’s worth giving them a try if you have symptoms at night.
4. Menthol Creams
Menthol is derived from peppermint and other mint plants. It's a natural component of these plants, and you’ll find it in cream form, too. The creams have long been used as a pain reliever and can be rubbed into the hand and wrist.
You'll want to follow the directions on the cream that you purchase when applying.
Users claim that when they rub the cream into their wrists during the day, they’re able to experience pain relief. Daytime usage can help make work or performing repetitive movements more comfortable.
Be generous when applying the cream to enjoy immediate, short-term relief.
The only concern is if you have an allergic reaction to the menthol. Some users will have a skin reaction and should cease usage.
5. Wrist Stretches
Lifestyle and genetic factors lead to carpal tunnel issues. When you’re experiencing pain, you can try performing wrist stretches that don’t require equipment and can be done throughout the day.
A few of the stretches that you may find beneficial are:
- Shake. If you’ve ever had wet hands and shook them to remove water, you have performed this stretch. The shake should be done every two hours and will help stop the median nerve from getting tight and cramping up.
- Stop Sign. If you’ve ever put your hand up, fingers straight towards the sky, and wrist fully extended, you’ve performed the “stop sign.” You’re effectively stretching your wrist and fingers here. You can also place your hand flat on the table and apply pressure to stretch the wrist. Perform this stretch 5 to 10 times.
- Wrist Down. Extend arms straight out in front of you and use your opposing hand to push your wrist downward. The palm of the hand should be pushed towards the body. Of course, apply pressure slowly and stretch for 20 seconds at a time.
WebMD covers a lot of stretches that you can perform to help alleviate your wrist pain.
Stretching does provide immediate relief, but if you continue to perform these stretches over the course of a few weeks, you’ll experience significant pain relief.
6. Ice Pack
Ice is a common treatment for pain. Simply make an ice pack by wrapping ice in a towel and then apply it to the wrist. You’ll want to keep the ice applied for 10 minutes before removing it. You can apply the ice multiple times daily to experience comfort.
Some people also recommend wearing the ice pack on their wrist for severe pain.
Heat is also recommended. Alternating between icing and heat throughout the day can help. Heat a damp towel in the microwave, make sure it’s not scolding, and then apply to the area or use a heating pad.
7. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6’s ability to help with carpal tunnel syndrome is controversial. Some people find relief, while others do not. One question sent to a Medical Director in Ontario asked about the vitamin’s ability to assist with carpal tunnel.
The doctor states that you can take up to 200 mg daily without any adverse side effects.
Deficiency in B6 has been linked to swelling and stiffness in the wrists. You can find this vitamin in supplement form, or you can add foods high in B6 to your diet. A few of the foods that naturally contain high levels of B6 are:
- Brown rice
Increasing your consumption of these foods can be as helpful as taking a supplement and is recommended for a more natural means of relief.
8. Chiropractic Adjustment
Going to a chiropractor isn’t just for back or neck adjustments. These professionals are highly trained and can help adjust the wrist too. There are also some people with carpal tunnel that actually have compression in their neck, which is linked to their symptoms.
A chiropractor can help you better understand the root cause of your pain, offers a non-invasive treatment option, and will help you better manage your condition.
If you normally go to a chiropractor, ask if they can help you better manage your numbness, tingling, or pain.
9. Ginger and Turmeric
Both ginger and turmeric are natural carpal tunnel remedies that often go overlooked by people suffering from this syndrome. The anti-inflammatory properties of these spices can help you find relief from pain in your wrist and fingers.
Turmeric is one of the ingredients that you can use liberally because it’s a spice that has a wealth of health benefits.
You can use this ingredient along with other foods that are known to help with inflammation, including but not limited to:
- Red bell peppers
You'll find that a lot of the foods listed above are high in vitamin B6, which is known to help alleviate pain as we explained earlier in this article.
Natural remedies should be used alongside traditional treatments or when symptoms still allow you to maintain a normal life. When the pain amplifies and you find that you’re not able to perform the normal tasks that you normally do, it may be time to seek out a doctor with experience treating carpal tunnel.
Sometimes, natural carpal tunnel remedies don’t provide enough relief from carpal tunnel that a person can live a normal, pain-free life. In the most serious cases, minor surgery is required that will alleviate pain. The surgery is common, with generally minor side effects.