11 Useful Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you feel chronic tingling or numbness on your hand or fingers?

It might be carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition caused by a pinched median nerve in the wrist [1].

This occurs when the nerve is compressed due to repetitive movements or underlying medical issues like obesity, hypothyroidism, and arthritis, among others [2].

As this can affect hand function, it should be treated immediately.

The good news, it can be alleviated with the following home remedies before it takes a toll on your work and daily activities.

1. Castor Oil

Castor oil has been used since ancient times in Egypt as cure for many ailments [3].

It is used to treat a multitude of hair and skin problems, as well as health conditions like stomach ache, joint pain, constipation, bladder infection, dysentery, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

That’s because not only is this oil loaded with nutrients like vitamin E, omega 6, and protein, it is also a strong analgesic and antimicrobial agent.

Also an effective remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome, castor oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties [4].

Its ability to tone down inflammation works in both acute and chronic cases [4].

Its main active ingredient called ricinoleic acid not only reduces inflammation but also provides immediate pain relief [5].

Its analgesic properties can be compared to that of capsaicin [5].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of castor oil
  • 3 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine castor oil and lavender oil.
  • Apply oil blend on your fingers and hands.
  • Massage all affected areas for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Cover your hands with flannel cloth for one hour.
  • Repeat everyday for one week.

2. Epsom Salt

There are many things that you don’t know about Epsom salt.

This particular type of salt can easily be absorbed by the skin to relieve all sorts of pains and aches—back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and so on.

Also called magnesium sulfare, Epsom salt is a natural muscle relaxant.

Soaking in an Epsom bath is a fantastic way to soothe headaches, abdominal pain, and sore feet.

It also works for other problems such as bronchial asthma, migraine, and delivery wounds.

Its therapeutic benefits do not end there.

With its potent anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be a practical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome [6].

According to a study published in the Journal of Immunology, magnesium in Epsom salt tones down inflammation by inhibiting the production of molecules called cytokines [7].

This makes it highly effective not only for carpal tunnel syndrome but also for many other inflammatory diseases.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salt

Recommended Directions:

  • Add Epsom salt to warm water in a bowl.
  • Put your hands and wrists in the water for 20 minutes.
  • Do this twice a week for one month.

3. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses refer to the by-product obtained from the production and processing of sugar cane [8].

In the past, it was manufactured in the Caribbean where sugarcane and sugar beet were being cultivated [8].

It was sometime in the 20th century when it was first imported in the United States, and then eventually made its way to Asian countries like India, Thailand, and Taiwan [8].

Apart from being used as a natural sweetener in foods, it is also highly revered for its numerous health benefits.

It contains many essential minerals, including magnesium, which helps muscles relax [9].

Magnesium is known for its various functions, one of which alleviating inflammation [9].

It is helpful for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Blackstrap molasses is also packed with B vitamins, calcium, iron and potassium that are essential for maintaining blood flow in the body, including the hands.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup of warm milk

Recommended Directions:

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  • Stir in blackstrap molasses into the milk.
  • Drink this concoction twice a day for one to two weeks.

4. Flaxseed Oil

Do you have a bottle of flaxseed in your home?

If not, it’s about time that you do!

An annual herb that originated in Egypt, flaxseed is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and can therefore treat a wide range of ailments [10].

It is also an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids, which include alpha-linolenic acid.

Alpha-linolenic acid and other active compounds in flaxseed oil work great in reducing inflammation such as in rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other inflammatory problems.

In 2014, a group of researchers from Iran conducted a double-blind clinical trial involving 100 patients with mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome [11].

The participants were treated with either flaxseed oil or a placebo for four weeks [11].

By the time the experiment was over, significant improvement in pain and nerve conduction velocity was observed in the group that used flaxseed oil [11].

It’s also important to note that there were no adverse effects from using this herbal remedy [11].

Researchers conclude that not only does this oil alleviate pain and other symptoms, it also helps restore normal functioning of the hand [11].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Consume three tablespoons of flaxseed oil every day. You can add it to your milk, juice or fruit or vegetable smoothie.
  • Do this for two to three weeks or until you notice improvement in your condition.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used since 5000 BC as a tonic for health problems.

It aids in weight loss, lowers level of blood sugar, relieves heartburn, maintains healthy cholesterol levels, and improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

There’s a long list of benefits that you can get from apple cider vinegar that more people should know about.

It is packed with many essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium [12].

These nutrients help strengthen bones and muscles to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms like pain and inflammation.

If you’re suffering from this condition, and would like immediate relief, this is certainly a must-try remedy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water.
  • Drink it twice a day for two weeks.

6. Arnica

Arnica is a perennial flowering plant that belongs to the sunflower family.

The flower of this plant has long been used in traditional medicine.

When topically applied, it can reduce pain in arthritis and sprains, and alleviate bruising and inflammation.

It can also be used for muscle pains, acne, insect bites, chapped lips, and many more.

For those who complain of carpal tunnel pain, this herb can also some to your rescue.

Several studies have proven arnica’s anti-inflammatory properties and how it can be used to ease pain and reduce inflammation in many types of health problems [12, 13].

In a 2002 study published in the Planta Medica Journal, it was reported that the active compounds of this plant inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines [12].

An animal-based study done in 2004 revealed that this plant can inhibit inflammation by up to 30 percent [13].

It was effective for both acute and chronic inflammation [13].

This herbal treatment can minimize the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome but should never be taken orally.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of arnica ointment

Recommended Directions:

  • Apply arnica ointment on the inside of the wrist.
  • Massage gently for 10 minutes.
  • Do this every morning and every night until symptoms subside.

7. Bromelain

Relieve pain and tingling from carpal tunnel syndrome with bromelain.

It is an anti-inflammatory enzyme abundant in pineapples.

The list of diseases that it could treat include allergies, arthritis, joint pain, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, sinus infections and many others.

This enzyme, which is also known to relax muscles and reduce tension, can speed up recovery of the pinched nerve in your wrist.

Including pineapple in your daily diet can do so much in improving your carpal tunnel syndrome.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of fresh pineapples
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Ice

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix pineapples, honey and ice in a blender until consistency is smooth.
  • Drink the smoothie everyday for one month.

8. St. John’s Wort

One of the most frequently used homeopathic remedies is St. John’s Wort.

The most famous use for this herb is for depression and other similar conditions.

It is commonly recommended for people who suffer from anxiety, exhaustion, loss of appetite, and insomnia.

Of course, this is not all that St. John’s Wort can do.

Anyone suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome can also find relief in this herb.

This herbal treatment has long been used for many inflammatory disorders.

Apart from providing pain relief and repairing nerve damage, many studies have also verified its efficacy in reducing inflammation [14, 15].

Apart from inactivating pro-inflammatory enzymes, it has also been found to reduce the production of nitric oxide [14, 15].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of St. John’s Wort cream

Recommended Directions:

  • Apply cream on the wrist.
  • Massage gently for five to ten minutes.
  • Repeat daily for one to two weeks.

9. Turmeric

Tumeric is a popular food seasoning dubbed as the King of Spices.

A highly potent spice, it is used since ancient times to fight many types of ailments.

Its active compound called curcumin is responsible for most of its pharmacological effects.

The quality that it’s most known for is as an anti-inflammatory.

It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it can be a practical remedy for carpal tunnel syndrome [16].

It can also be used for many other inflammation-related ailments such as arthritis, muscle injury, and eczema.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Recommended Directions:

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add turmeric powder and ginger. Mix well.
  • Reduce heat.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain using a sieve.
  • Add lemon juice.
  • Drink this tea every day for one month.

10. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is known as one of the healthiest oils in the world.

There was actually a time in the past when it was considered unhealthy.

Many experts have confirmed that using this oil is indeed beneficial for the health.

In a 2010 study published in the Pharmaceutical Biology, it was shown that virgin coconut oil can reduce pain and swelling caused by certain medical conditions [17].

It has been found to inhibit chronic inflammation by reducing the granuloma formation as well as the “serum alkaline phosphatase activity” [17].

It can also promote blood flow, ease muscle tension and improve hand function.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Apply oil on the hands and wrists.
  • Massage gently for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Repeat twice a day for two to three weeks.

11. Cold Compress

Cold compress has always been used as a quick relief for muscle stiffness and inflammation.

For mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, applying ice on affected areas of the hand and wrist can tone down swelling.

It is a quick and simple method that requires only the use of a couple of ice cubes.

What You’ll Need:

  • A few ice cubes
  • Plastic bag
  • Towel

Recommended Directions:

  • Place ice cubes inside a plastic bag.
  • Wrap the plastic bag with a towel.
  • Apply on affected area, leaving it on for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat after one hour, until pain and swelling subside.

Although carpal tunnel syndrome is not a life-threatening condition, it can definitely affect your everyday work and activities. Prevent this from happening by treating it immediately with these effective home remedies.