Do you ever suffer from weakness, numbness, or tingling in the thumb side of your hand? If these symptoms have lasted for several months, you may suffer from a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS. CTS is a frustrating, debilitating condition that causes pain and interferes with daily activities. Luckily, there are numerous pain relief methods for combating carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
CTS occurs when a nerve in your wrist gets pinched. This pinched nerve can affect everything from your fingers up to your shoulder. This nerve runs through a narrow space in your forearm called the carpal tunnel.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are a few factors that doctors believe causes CTS, including:
- Medical conditions – Namely, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Repetitive, Daily Activities – Activities that cause your hands to be lower than your bent wrists and repetitive movements are frequent causes of daily activities. While carpal tunnel is often attributed to typing on a computer, there is still debate on this being a frequent cause.
Methods for Easing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While severe cases of CTS often require more aggressive medications, injections, or in some cases surgery, there are plenty of ways patients can relieve minor cases from home. Here are a few effective carpal tunnel syndrome relief methods.
Take Breaks from Repetitive Tasks
As we said above, repetitive tasks are one of the most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. Try to set a timer for about 15 minutes before starting an activity. When you take your breaks, wiggle your fingers, stretch your hands, and move your wrists to improve blood flow.
Mind Your Flexion
Try to avoid activities that require your to flex your wrist in extreme directions. The idea is to keep your wrists as neutral as possible.
If the pain or stiffness is especially bad, soak your wrists in an ice bath or soak them in cold water. Do this for 10-15 minutes every hour.
Use Warm Water
Immersing your hands in warm water is a great way to relieve your CTS symptoms. Heat the water to 92-100 degrees and gently flex and move your hands through the water. Try this 3-4 times per day.