Mary, a 53 year old computer analyst presented with a recent diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. She experienced intermittent pain, numbness, weakness and tingling sensation day and night. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the lubricating linings around the wrist tendons and ligaments swell and thicken because of repetitive or too forceful hand movements, the resulting pressure on the nerve causes pain.
The goal of the treatment is to reduce inflammation.
- A synergistic herbal combination of hops, olive and rosemary that decreases the inflammation. Particularly helpful to manage chronic muscular-skeletal pain.
- Vitamin B6 is recognised to quickly and effectively reduce the swelling in carpal tunnel syndrome and alleviate symptoms and low doses daily over months has been shown to avoid corrective surgery. It works by assisting neuronal signalling.
- A blend of glucosamine and MSM with nutritional co-factors to reduce muscular-skeletal pain and inflammation and to promote the healing of joint tissues.
Diet and Lifestyle changes are very important:
- Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet including saturated fats (meats, poultry, and dairy), refined foods, and sugar.
- Consume an anti-inflammatory low reactive diet, with adequate protein and essential fatty acids and low in starchy carbohydrates.
- For 1 month to restrict the intake of nightshades. They include chillis, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and white potatoes.
- Paw paw and pineapple are sources of anti-inflammatory, proteolytic enzymes which are beneficial.
- Most carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by avoiding overuse of the joint, by resting between periods of activity, and by adequately warming up and stretching before strenuous activity.
- Contrast hydrotherapy: alternating hot and cold applications brings nutrients to the site and diffuses metabolic waste from inflammation. The overall effect is decreased inflammation, pain relief, and enhanced healing. The therapy is to immerse the wrists fully. and to alternate three minutes between hot application with one minute cold application and to repeat three times a day.
- Massage may alleviate the symptoms notably with rosemary oil and St John’s wort oil.
Natural medicine can help by reducing inflammation, facilitate neuronal repair and encourage tissue healing. After 8 weeks of intensive treatment, Mary had no pain and had regain the full functioning of her hands and arms. Mary was happy to have avoided surgery.