If you’re like most adults in the United States, you probably spend a significant portion of your day typing on the computer or scrolling on a smartphone.
All this technology usage puts a lot of strain on your hands and wrists and increases your risk of developing a painful condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve of the wrist becomes compressed.
If you’re already starting to experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome — such as pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hands and fingers — try these three natural remedies to relieve your discomfort.
1. Stretch and Strengthen Your Hand Muscles
One of the best things you can do to ease pain from carpal tunnel syndrome and prevent it from getting worse is to stretch and strengthen your hand muscles on a regular basis. Some exercises you can do to improve your mobility and relieve swelling and pain include:
Forearm stretch: Kneel on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders. Rotate your wrists so your fingers are facing inward, then lean back while keeping your palms flat on the ground.
Wrist extensions: Extend one arm in front of you with fingers pointing up. Use the opposite hand to grasp the fingers and pull them toward the body to feel a stretch in the wrist.
Finger extensions and flexions: Extend your hands with palms facing down and flex the fingers to create a “claw” shape. Then, straighten them and spread them as far as you’re able.
Grip strengthening exercises: Squeeze therapy putty, a stress ball, or another grip strengthening tool to strengthen the hands, fingers, and forearms.
Think you don’t have time to exercise? Remember, you can do all these exercises while you’re watching TV at the end of the day.
Also Read: Best Wrist Braces For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
2. Consume Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices
To reduce the pain, stiffness, and inflammation that are caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, consider incorporating some of these anti-inflammatory herbs and spices into your diet. You can consume them in the form of tea, or add dried versions to your favorite foods.
Willow Bark: Willow bark contains salicylates, the same chemicals that are found in aspirin, and works wonders for relieving inflammation and pain. Remember, willow bark, like aspirin, is a blood thinner, so talk to your doctor before taking.
Capsicum: Capsicum, or cayenne, contains compounds that are known for relieving pain and fighting off inflammation. The most well-known compound is capsaicin, which is used in many topical pain relievers. You can get the same benefits, without a bunch of added chemicals, by adding powdered cayenne pepper to unscented lotion and applying it to your wrists and hands.
Turmeric: Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. You can buy turmeric capsules to reap the benefits of curcumin, or you can just sprinkle powdered turmeric liberally on your food — just make sure you’re adding black pepper, too, to increase the curcumin’s bioavailability.
3. Eat More Omega-3s
In addition to adding the herbs mentioned above into your diet, it’s also important to start incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids if you want to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to function properly, so it’s important to eat a variety of omega-3 rich foods in order to see the greatest benefits.
The first type of omega-3 is alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA. It is found in some animal fats, but it’s also abundant in a number of plant foods, including:
Next is eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. EPA is most plentiful in fish like salmon, herring, shrimp, eel, and sturgeon. You can also find it in grass-fed dairy and meat.
Last, but not least, is docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. DHA is found in grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy, as well as in algae and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome is a pain — literally — but these three natural remedies can help you relieve your pain and prevent your condition from getting worse while also improving your overall health and functionality. Give them a try today!
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