What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
If you are experiencing frequent pain in your hand or wrist, then you may be affected with Carpal tunnel Syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway made of bones and ligaments at the base of your hand. It contains all the nerves and tendons that are attached to your thumb and fingers. These nerves provide the sensation and feeling to your hand and fingers that you need to move it in various ways. Only certain fingers are work with the median nerve and those are the thumb, the index and the middle fingers, as well as part of the ring finger. These are all of your fingers that can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
The median nerve is what signals to your brain to feel the action of those fingers and your hand. If the ligaments and tendons in that passageway become inflamed or swollen they can squeeze against the median nerve causing pain and numbness which is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The people that are most affected by this are the people that put a lot of pressure on this particular nerve. It can be people with certain types of jobs, people who type a lot or even someone who writes or knits a lot. When someone overuses this nerve have difficulty after a while of performing even the easiest of functions with their hands and fingers because of the intense pain associated with the swelling of the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t happen overnight. Usually it starts gradually, and includes symptoms such as minor aches and pains, a feeling that your hand is numb, a swollen or uncomfortable feeling, burning in the hands and fingers, and a feeling as if you have been sleeping on your hand, often referred to as “pins and needles.” These symptoms may affect just your hands and fingers or it can spread up your arm. It may be worse when you first wake up, or when you go to bed. It can even affect your arm and shoulder if very severe. The symptoms may be mild or only occur occasional as they start out, but as it progresses, you will loose the ability to function with your hand and fingers and you might have increasing weakness making it difficult to open doors, or grasp objects. Before you reach this point, it is important to get treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
You can apply ice packs to the wrist, massage the affected area, and do stretching exercise, but this may only help it temporarily. If the carpal tunnel is very severe your doctor may recommend surgery. However, before that takes place, you may want to look at more natural remedies that can provide relief. Herbal remedies provide a more gentle approach to something that can be very painful. There are many herbs that can reduce the inflammation such as St. John’s Wort, Meadowsweet leaves, White Willow Bark, and Turmeric. Also, Ginkgo Biloba and Rosemary can strengthen your blood vessels to increase circulation in your hands and fingers. Ginger as well is a strong anti-inflammatory which relieves pain. Before you do something drastic like surgery, see if adding herbal medicine to your daily regimen might be able to help your pain.