It probably started with tingling or numbness in your hands or arms that just happened once and you thought nothing of it. However, if the tingling and numbness persists and lasts for several months or gets worse over time, it might be carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Carpal tunnel is the result of pinched nerves in your wrist, often cause by frequent repetitive motion. It causes tingling sensations and weakness and eventually lots of pain.
Both myself and my mom deal with carpal tunnel syndrome due to our jobs which involve lots of typing and mouse clicking. While I’ve done things like get an ergonomic keyboard and ergonomic vertical mouse and wear a wrist brace at night, I still struggle with the symptoms at times. I’ve found many home remedies that work (some better than others). Today I wanted to share some carpal tunnel home remedy ideas you can try too.
Please note: If you think you might have carpal tunnel syndrome, learn more on reputable online sources and visit your doctor. We personally have carpal tunnel syndrome ourselves so we share what works for us but this shouldn’t be viewed as medical advice a qualified doctor can give you.
Carpal Tunnel Home Remedies
Whether you have carpal tunnel syndrome because of your work or other every day activities, home remedies can help relieve the pain and prevent future pain. These home remedies and lifestyle changes work extremely well for people with mild CTS like I have. Hopefully they can help you too!
The repetitive nature of many office and every day tasks can aggravate conditions like carpal tunnel and repetitive stress injuries. Stop and take a breather any time you are doing a repetitive activity that involves your hands. Whether this is typing, playing guitar, knitting, using power tools, or anything other task, force yourself to stop and take a rest. Take at least a five minute break every hours. Use the time to wiggle your fingers, do stretches and just give your hands time to chill.
Poor posture and bad wrist positioning can make carpal tunnel pain feel much worse and aggravate the situation. Eliminate this by wearing wrist braces design to stop wrist pain during the day and at night. Symptoms are the worst at night so start out by wearing a good night time wrist brace to relieve symptoms. This will help stop problems at night before they affect you during the day. Wrist splints are available at most drugstores or major box stores. Check with your doctor on which is the best for you and learn how to properly wear a carpal tunnel brace.
Use A Softer Grip
One easy thing you can do to help with carpal tunnel at home is to just ease up! You will often unconsciously strain or force when doing tasks like writing or typing. This puts more pressure on the affected areas and aggravates them causing more pain. Try to relax your grip and reduce force during long lasting tasks. Do things like tap the keys more lightly while typing and stop pressing as hard when writing.. You can help yourself achieve this by more using tools that cause this to happen like soft-grip pens.
Keep Your Wrists Neutral
Similar to the concept of lightening up your grip, you ability to consciously keep your wrists neutral will help a lot. Many activities that cause carpal tunnel pain cause your wrists to flex in extreme ways in either direction. If you can keep your wrists in more neutral positions for longer periods of time you’ll find much relief.
Elevate Your Hands
Certain types of carpal tunnel syndrome can be helped by elevating your hands and wrists. This can work well when you are suffering from carpal tunnel due to pregnancy, fractures or fluid retention issues. Elevation helps reduce swelling so you can lie down and elevate your arms with pillows (while keeping your wrist stable and neutral!) so that it’s above your heart.
Learn About Ergonomics
You can use the internet or visit an occupational or physical therapist to learn how to correctly position your wrists when you perform certain actions. Learn about ergonomics and how to complete tasks without irritating the median nerve can be a great benefit. Learning about correct posture and things like how to calculate ideal heights for your ergonomic office desk, chair, & keyboard can help you prevent and relieve pain from CTS.
You can integrate many different alternative forms of therapy into your home health plan for carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s best to consult with an expert on all of these to find the best way to practice but things like yoga, wet cupping, and acupuncture can help with mild to moderate CTS problems. Learning how to strengthen your grip strength and properly stretch body parts through yoga can help a lot.
Use Pain Relief Cream
Adding a topical cream designed to relieve pain often helps many people get through the workday with reduce pain. There are many pain relief creams available on the market so try some out with your doctor’s help to find the one that works best to relieve your carpal tunnel syndrome pain.
There are self-massage techniques you can use to help relieve and prevent carpal tunnel. You can apply a nice lotion and gently massage your hand and fingers from the tips to the palm and even past your rist to your forearm. This will help with blood flow and circulation in your hands and it just feels nice!
Try Over-The-Counter Medicine
If all of the above home remedies haven’t produced any relief, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Things like aspirin or ibuprofen may be beneficial to relieve pain and reduce inflammation around the nerve that is causing your carpal tunnel pain. Make sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure taking these medications are safe in your situation.
Carpal Tunnel Home Remedies Can Help
Those are a few of the ways I help control my carpal tunnel symptoms at home on my own! Hopefully some of these home remedies help you as well. Keep in mind that if your CTS is severe or has been persistent for a long time then these ideas might not work.
If pain, numbness or weakness recurs and persists, see your doctor.
You may have to seek out other carpal tunnel treatment ideas with your doctor, including corticosteroid injections or surgery. It’s much easier to treat CTS in the early stages so if your case is mild please work to prevent permanent damage!