Last Modified on Dec 13, 2013
What Is Carpal Tunnel?
With the increased amount of time individuals currently spend on computers, the prevalence of carpal tunnel is increasing, but computer work is not the only thing that causes carpal tunnel. An increasingly painful arm and hand condition, carpal tunnel is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Several factors contribute to the onset as well as the progression of carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is actually the narrow passageway, comparable to the size of the thumb, in the in the arm on the palm side of the rest. This tunnel serves to protect the main nerve in the hand and the nine tendons that make the fingers mobile. Compression of this verve causes the numb feeling, pain, and weakness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel generally begins as a dull ache in the wrist that may extend the length of hand and forearm. Additional symptoms include tingling and numbness in the fingers and hand, burning pain that extends from the wrist up the arm and even into the shoulder, weakening of the hand and muscles in the hand. The medical cause of carpal tunnel is the compression of the median nerve; however, a number of factors contribute to or cause this compression including anatomic predisposition, never damage, inflammatory conditions, alteration in the balance of body fluids, and extend use of computers or vibrating tools.
Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel
With proper treatment, most people experience relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel and can reverse the progression of the syndrome. Effective home remedies include taking B vitamins, eliminating aspartame from the diet, adding black strap molasses to a daily diet, and massaging the affected arm with castor oil. Additionally, changing the sleeping position so that the wrist resting outstretched, wearing a brace at night, using a foam neck pillow, and stretching daily help relieve the constriction in the wrist and can help correct carpal tunnel.
Continue reading below for more remedies from Earth Clinic contributors!
[YEA] 09/22/2008: Jo from Lutz, Fl, USA: "I am a Registered Nurse who does holistic medicine. Tell Walking Tumeric to take B6 along with B-complex 50 mg. 1 B6 200 mg. and 1 B-complex 50 mg tablet daily until the pain subsides in his carpal tunnel it usually works for most people. Hope it works for you."
[YEA] 03/17/2008: Yonela from San Diego, Ca: "Hi first of all i just wanted to Thank God and congratulate you for this magnificent website that is a real blessing for many people that are looking for an alternative to modern medicine prescriptions. This is to the person named Mary that suffers from carpal tunel syndrome i apologize for any words mispelled i also had this problem and i did not want to go thru surgery for this problem so i started looking for a natural cure i came across an article of a doctor that had researched for the cure of carpal tunel this doctor however i do not remember the name said that after many studies he came to the conclusion that drinking 100mg of vitamin b-6 and 100mg of vitamin b-2 once a day for 3 mos can cure carpal tunnel syndrome if this is a problem that has persisted for a long time he suggested taking these vitamins for up to 6 mos on a daily basis well to not make this story any longer ive been drinking these vitamins for 2 mos now and i can truly say i have not had any more pains on my wrist and hands i can move my fingers with no symptoms whatsoever ..i really dont remember how this works but its wonderful to know im taking a natural product without any secondary effects and i feel great . Ted if you can advise me of anything you know about vit b-6 or b-2 i would greatly appreciate it thank you, God bless you!"
[YEA] 03/13/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn: "To Vanessa 3/12/08 Hi Vanessa, For that carpal tunnel problem you need to get some Vitamin B6 - get 50 mgm tablets and start with l tablet twice a day - if no improvement noticed after 5 - 7 days increase to 3 times a day - if no improvement then start taking 2 tablets 3 times a day - You can keep increasing until you get improvement and hold it at that dosage for several weeks - BUT DO NOT take more than, 6000 mgms (6 grams) per day. I have read that some adverse inwanted side effects occur at that dosage."Replies
03/12/2008: Vanessa from Los Angeles, California replies: "I notice you dont have and subject heading for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). is there another name for it. i have it bad and i'd appreciate any remedies for it. thanks,"
Blackstrap Molasses, Apple Cider, Vinegar, No Aspartame
[YEA] 03/19/2008: Tracy from Frederick, MD: "Since there is now a new header for CTS, thought I'd add my .02 cents, since looking for CTS cures is how I found this website so long ago. The number one thing that I think really helped, was quitting Aspartame. I was drinking 3-4 diet cokes, plus equal in my coffee. Bad. I also added Black Strap Molasses to my coffee in the morning and I take ACV daily (twice a day). I believe the combination of these three things has cured my Carpal Tunnel. Prior to these changes I was waking up in the middle of the night in agony with "dead arm"/hand. Every once in a while, if I paint or do active things with my hand it will flair up, but flair up now means tingles that I can shake out, as opposed to agonizing hand/arm pain. SO, quit the Aspartame and get some BSM and ACV in your diet and see for yourself."
Carpal Tunnel Remedies
07/21/2013: Roy from Vero Beach, FL: "Anyone have ideas / supplements to relieve carpel tunnel in hand? Have had pain for four months."
[YEA] 07/22/2008: Cathy from Placentia, CA: "I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome, but a friend of a friend just had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome on one hand, and could not recover from surgery, so I told her about castor oil to heal stiff and sore muscles. She tried it and now she swears by it, and massages it into her whole body every morning to take care of all her aches and pains. She was supposed to have surgery on the other hand as well, but the pain has been alleviated with the castor oil.
I have successfully used castor oil to relieve pain for my mother, who had fibromyalgia. Just massage in the castor oil and your aches and pains will disappear for a few days. It is a miracle drug as far as I am concerned. I have used it for menstrual cramps, rashes, yeast infections, sore muscles and even tooth pain for an abscessed tooth. It is great. And the more you use it, the more the pain goes away.
My sister in law used it for her knee which was clicking and she thought she was going to have to have surgery on it, but she kept massaging it with castor oil, and now she is fine.
I would be interested in the feedback from others to see if it can help them too."
04/27/2011: Rhonda from East Greenwich, Ri replies: "Please research thyroid issues causing this problem:
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
"Insufficient Thyroid Hormone causes bodily functions to slow down. The symptoms of Hypothyroidism are subtle and gradual and may be mistaken for Depression. Facial expressions become dull, the voice hoarse and the speech slow, eyelids droop and the eyes and face become puffy and swollen. Many people with Hypothyroidism gain weight, become constipated and are unable to tolerate cold. The hair becomes sparse, coarse, dry, scaly and thick. Many people develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which makes the hands tingle or hurt. The pulse may slow, the palms and soles appear slightly orange (carotenemia) and the side part of the eyebrows slowly falls out."
The Thyroid Sourcebook By M. Sara Rosenthal
Google excerpt here: http://tiny.cc/3c49a
Excellent article and remedies:
[YEA] 10/20/2011: William from Calgary, Alberta,canada replies: "In April I was moving furniture, and tore my forearm and bicep @ the elbow. (partially detatched the bicep just above the elbow-can't be re-attatched). A couple of weeks later, tingling started in my hand, then it began to radiate down my forearm. My doctor, said it sounded like CTS, but I had/have my doubts. Anyhow, after a meeting with a plastic surgeon who specializes in this, and after showing him photos on my phone of the bruising, and I told him that I started massaging my lowerarm with Castor oil and that the pain was essentialy gone, he felt that surgery was unnecessary and that if it becomes a problem-then he'll look at it.
After using Castor oil on my arm, the CTS pain/discomfort disappeared to the point that I have gone 3 weeks without using the oil. I have started using it again after aggravating my arm performing my job (electrician). Rotating the wrist is the big culprit."
[YEA] 02/14/2012: Gina from Waxahachie, Tx replies: "yes. The castor oil helps. I've had ct pain for a couple of weeks from washing down the cupboards (pressure and rotation). I rubbed some in before bed last night and woke this morning with no pain. I can feel it would come back if I use my wrists heavily, but will keep them as immobile as possible and keep up with the castor oil. I've also started on b-complex and b6 with the hope that they will keep the condition from coming back. I had cts once before really bad from embroidering, and a touch when I kneaded bread every day, so I am sure it is repetitive twisting motion that brings it on. I used to get twinges when I used the mouse heavily, but have had no trouble since I started using the touchpad instead."
Change Sleep Position
[YEA] 02/18/2012: Brian from Adelaide, Sth Aus, Australia: "CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME CURED
Twelve years ago I was sure I had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but never had it confirmed by a doctor, just to avoid any possibility of being told that surgery was the only option. My right hand wrist got so sore that on a bad day, at my desk job, I couldn't push a pen for more than a minute before having to rest it. I made makeshift splints for my wrist using rulers and rubber bands just for some relief when using the keyboard. Never did have a day off work but this went on for a few weeks. Then I tried something so simple that costs absolutely nothing and takes no effort at all except an awareness. I was cured in just a few days and have had no recurrence of the syndrome ever since. That's not a knife, that's a testimony.
In one sentence, when asleep, keep your hand away from underneath your head. I believe many cases diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome might be cured simply by adjusting the sleeping position to keep the hand away from under one's head.
Having always preferred to sleep on my tummy with my head to the right, my right hand would automatically position under the pillow under my head, with the wrist directly below my jaw. A human head already weighs upwards to 5kg but with the added force of the spine pushing the head into the pillow to level the body, the total weight borne by the wrist in such a position has to be a lot more. Add a long time such as a night's sleep and voila, a sore wrist develops with all of the compression symptoms that could easily be diagnosed as CTS by experts. I simply changed to sleeping on either one of my sides with one hand still under the pillow, but only a little bit along the edges where there is no weight on it at all.
If you are just one of apparently 10% of the population who develop CTS who try this sleeping position adjustment cure and you have success and avoid surgery I would be delighted to know. Good luck."Replies
[YEA] 02/23/2012: Becky From Ohio from Northeastern, Ohio, Usa replies: "Brian, I think you are on to something there. I was having issues with shoulder pain, and thought it might be problems with my rotator cuff? I am a side sleeper, and noticed that sleeping on my side made it much worse (no surprise really). I tried unsuccessfully to sleep on my back to cure this- but I just can not sleep that way. I tried googling side sleeping and shoulder problems and happened upon a suggestion that it wasn't sleeping on your side that hurt your shoulder- but sleeping with your hand up under your head. The suggestion was to keep the bottom arms down closer to your side. I tried it, and it did get rid of my shoulder pain (while still being able to sleep on my side! ). But, after reading your post I noticed that I wasn't having problems with my hands (possible carpal tunnels) anymore too. So- I believe your suggestion is good for the hands and the shoulders!"
10/13/2013: Mary Lee from New York, New York replies: "I read somewhere that this 103 year old man was asked "What is the secret to your longevity?" He replied, "Sleep on your back.""
[YEA] 07/23/2008: Diane from Auburn, NY: "I recently purchased a Tempur-Pedic Neck pillow in my last effort to try to help aliviate the pain I was suffering from with Carpal Tunnel. The first two nights I tried it, I never woke up with pain and numbness in my hands, by the third night, I removed the hand brace and I never woke up to shake out the numbness because there was no numbness. I have suffered for ten years with this pain and all I needed was a good pillow specially designed to support my neck.It's worth every penny of the $99.99 I had to pay. I got this pillow at Bed, Bath and Beyond."
[YEA] 11/05/2010: Paul from Seymour, Ct: "I went through a terrible ordeal with bilateral carpal tunnel symptoms; terrible pain around the clock in both arms (from the shoulders to finger tips). I was beside myself in pain and was really panicking since I could barely function in the office or at home. Pain killers did not work so it was very frightening and starting to cause depression. I was forced to get very educated on the subject quickly and found the majority of information on the Internet on how to combat this problem did NOT work, including vitamins, massages, chiropractors, wrist braces, wrist wrests, and even read surgery doesn't work in many cases since carpal tunnel syndrome often originates in the upper body (neck, chest, and shoulders). In any case, I tried all of these (aside from the surgery) and actually got worse.
After researching for months, all it took was daily stretching exercises! Once I found them I was better in 10 days. Nothing else worked, but this worked instantly. There is a book called Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that shows what exercises to do. Please post this - people need to know this! "Replies
12/22/2011: Forrest from Fordyce, Ar replies: "The method used to cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by everyone I have talked to is simply to crack your back pushing from the head toward the feet. The pain and weakness is gone instantly. Most have their spouse do it because chiropractors are trained to only push from the feet toward the head so you have to argue with them. It takes months of proper exercises to get the bones to stay in place."
10/05/2010: Lori from Tryon, Nc USA: "Zapper with Orgone—I've battled with carpal tunnel with years and had the nerve tests done and was severe on right from "computer syndrome" and fairly severe on left side due to a horse accident and shoulder/nerve damage from above. I had used it all, creams, ointments, pills, chiropractors, homeopathic remedies, even narcotics I take for my shoulder when it is acute, did not help this pain. Finally I realized the cure had been in my house for quite a while and one morning when I could not sleep and was in tears I wondered "Maybe my zapper would work" and put it on top my hand and secured it with my elastic tennis band so both copper electrodes were on it. Bingo! Within 5 minutes from acute pain to slight tingling. I can even type when it hurts bad as long as the zapper has a strong battery (like I am now) and move my fingers well enough and pain free, I "googled" the brand zapper I had and added "carpal tunnel" and sure enough, it came up as one of the things it could cure. Now maybe if I would stay off the computer it would be cured, , , nah, , will use it to keep it under control tho'!! My mom called me to tell me she had to run my father to the Dr. The other day and it turned out he had carpal tunnel and he got the standard "not much we can do, take some Tylenol and Motrin" and I ordered one for him and sent it so looking fwd to see how he makes out because they think everything I do is "voodoo" but he's desperate for relief so I'm hoping it works for him as well as me. He is 82 and a very unhappy camper in this pain, otherwise he would not even listen to my ideas lol! Hope this post helps someone, , it worked for me but I know not everything works for everyone, , , by the way I do not sell or know anyone that sells zappers aside from retail websites which I have to use to buy myself. Good Luck all you wrist sufferers!! I know your pain!!"Replies
10/06/2010: Kay from In The Valley, Ca replies: "Could you keep us posted on your father's progress, it would be interesting to see if it works for him also. Thanks, Kay"
10/06/2010: Maria from Gippsland, Australia replies: "Hello, Many years ago I found Vit B-6 worked for carpel tunnel. Two friends tried it and they now have no problems. Although both were only early in their symptoms. Suggested it to a couple of others (including one family member) and they decided not to take B-6 on advice from their respective Drs and guess what? they all ended up under the surgeons knife. It has been researched many times through the years (and from memory as early as the 1960s). Eg: Portland Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation Center in Oregon, They found that higher levels of vitamin B6 were associated with fewer carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. A Japanese study of 174 university students found that students with lower levels of vitamin B6 showed symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. 1994 - John Ellis, M. D. , of Mt. Pleasant, Texas has a 90% success rate. He says it takes about 90 days.
Always take a complete B with the extra B-6. The common amount of B-6 used was either 50mg 3x a day with a meal or 100mg 2x a day with morning and evening meals. Whilst this may not work for everyone it is very economical to try. All the best."