Herbs for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

James A. Duke Ph.D. shares ways to combat repetitive motion injuries using natural remedies and herbs for carpal tunnel syndrome.


| February/March 2003



Pineapple contains a protein-dissolving enzyme, bromelain, often recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome. Try a fruit salad of pineapple and papaya spiced with grated ginger and turmeric, two spices loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.

Pineapple contains a protein-dissolving enzyme, bromelain, often recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome. Try a fruit salad of pineapple and papaya spiced with grated ginger and turmeric, two spices loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/OLEKSIY ILYASHENKO

Try these natural remedies and herbs for carpal tunnel syndrome.

A friend of mine works long hours on her computer, often for days at a time, and has developed carpal tunnel syndrome. This malady is caused by compression of the nerve that passes through the "tunnel" formed by the wrist bones. Symptoms are pain, weakness, finger stiffness and a pins-and-needles sensation.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a repetitive motion injury — cumulative trauma associated with constant, rapid use of the fingers (low-intensity, high-frequency finger work). It's an occupational hazard of bookkeeping and checkout clerks who punch buttons all day long. But CTS didn't become a household phrase until the 1980s, when personal computers came to dominate our workplaces. Suddenly millions of jobs required the steady, rapid finger movements that can cause repetitive motion injuries like CTS. It's also a problem for musicians, factory workers and other people who must constantly use their hands.

As my friend's CTS went from bad to worse, she had to give up her massage practice and stop playing her musical instrument because she had lost sensation in her fingers. Finally, her CTS got so bad she couldn't turn the doorknob to her home.

That's when she decided to get aggressive in her natural healing program. She consulted an osteopath who manipulated her wrists and encouraged her to exercise, use more herbs and manage her stress. She received regular massages with relaxing aromatherapy oils, took an herbal nerve-pain formula and slathered liberal amounts of herbal oils — especially anti-arthritic St. John's wort, which my readers have also praised — on her wrists throughout the day.

Her recovery was slow, but she did recover — without the surgery frequently performed for CTS.

kelly tausanovitch
8/30/2012 4:36:50 PM

Although pineapple, red pepper and celery are not herbs, a simple article name change would handle that. This article is helpful, but it ignores one of the largest factors why women have more instances of carpal tunnel. More women hold repetitive data entry jobs than men. Although there are more women who are entering college right now, there are fewer who actually possess degrees, far fewer who apply for advanced degrees and women are still not given upper management jobs as often. (Notice the tellers and the upper bank staff at your branch). Also they found that "prettier" women tend to be given better jobs. So women have more jobs that cause carpal tunnel syndrome - Men are not superior physically and menopause is not a dread curse, although the changes may lead to a need for more and different supplements.






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