Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling that occurs in one or both hands. It often wakes people from their sleep, leaving them feeling like they have to "shake their hands out" to make the pain and symptoms go away.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

This syndrome is caused by the compression of a nerve (the median nerve) as it goes through a narrow tunnel in the wrist formed by the carpal bone, hence the name carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, 10% of the population suffers from the syndrome. It also affects up to 50% of industrial workers. All too often the syndrome is treated by surgery. Although this can be effective, it is also expensive and rarely can leave people with residual problems due to the formation of scar tissue that can occur after surgery.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fortunately, unless people are continuing to stress the wrist with repetitive stress injuries (e.g., handling heavy equipment or doing very large amounts of typing), carpal tunnel syndrome can often be relieved without surgery. In almost all of my patients, their carpal tunnel syndromes have resolved by simply using the advice here.

Unfortunately, your doctor may be totally unfamiliar with these conservative therapies — in today's medicine only expensive treatments tend to get attention. If surgery is recommended, ask your physician if you can try these conservative measures instead for 6 to 12 weeks.

Recommended Supplements for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Vitamin B6 250 mg daily. Only use the P5P (Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate) form as this is safer for nerve problems.
  • Armour thyroid hormone. Use even if your blood tests are normal.

Other Therapies & Advice for Carpal Tunnel

Use a Wrist Splint

When your hand gets into funny positions while you are sleeping, it stretches and strains the nerve as it goes through your wrist. This is why you wake up in the night with numbness or tingling.

The type of wrist splint to use is called a "cock up" wrist splint. It keeps your hand in the neutral position (i.e., the position your hand is in while holding a glass of water), which takes the stress off the nerve.

Be sure to wear the splint while sleeping, and take the vitamin B6 and thyroid, for at least 6 weeks to give the treatment time to work. During that period, also wear the wrist splint during the day whenever you conveniently can.

More Advice for Carpal Tunnel

You may also want to try acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic manipulation, and myofascial release.

Contributor: 

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).