Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Though considered a condition of modern times, carpal tunnel syndrome has in fact been recognized since the 1880s.
What causes it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually a stress injury induced by prolonged, repeated movements of the hands or fingers, but also changes in hormonal balance during pregnancy, while taking birth control pills, or during menopause may also bring on or worsen carpal tunnel symptoms. Underlying disease (diabetes, hypothyroidism, Raynaud's disease, rheumatoid arthritis) or trauma to the wrist may result in carpal tunnel syndrome as well. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs three times more often in women than it does in men and is particularly common in overweight women between the ages of 30 and 60.
(But hey....can happen is thin folk as well ... obviously!)
What are the symptoms?
Numbness or tingling in the thumb and the first three fingers.
Shooting pains in the wrist and forearm, which may radiate into the shoulder and neck.
Weakness in the hand; difficulty in picking up and holding objects.
A sensation that the fingers are swollen when no swelling is visible.
Are there any natural therapies?
Several studies suggest that a deficiency of vitamin B6 can make you susceptible to the numbness and pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. This vitamin is important in maintaining healthy nerve tissue, relieving inflammation and improving circulation. It also may increase the brain's production of the nerve chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps to control pain sensations. If you don't notice any improvement after taking vitamin B6 for three weeks, switch to pyridoxal-5 phosphate (P-5-P), a form of the vitamin that the body eventually produces as it breaks down vitamin B6. Some people find this form works better for them.
Bromelain, a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme found in pineapples, is also very effective in treating the inflammation and any resulting pain. The combination of bromelain and vitamin B6 works better than either supplement alone. Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is also useful. When turmeric and bromelain are taken together, then enhance each other's anti-inflammatory properties and may helps to relieve the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Although turmeric is safe to use over the long term, cut the dose in half once your symptoms subside. (This herb can be expensive.)
Did you know?
Salt promotes water retention, which can contribute to swelling and may aggravate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Try reducing the amount of salt in your diet and see if it helps.Just thought it might be of interest.
I wondered as well if the problem I have with the baby finger in my left hand locking strangely might be associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (it's apparently hot trigger finger).