Pain relief for individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome is an important part of the treatment protocol. Individuals will often experience numbness, tingling, and pain in the first, second and half of the third fingers. This condition can render a person helpless from even lifting a pen. It affects approximately 3% of the adult population in the United States. Carpal tunnel syndrome can result from repetitive stress injuries, traumatic injuries, fluid retention or several diseases which deposit abnormal substances in the joints.
People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome may be unable to perform some simple tasks from lifting their baby to lifting a fork. They may find it impossible to complete their jobs, enjoying recreational activities or even do basic household chores. This condition has become more prominent in a computer age society where people spend hours typing on a keyboard and holding a mouse. The pain from carpal tunnel syndrome will originate from the wrist but results in discomfort at the fingers, hand, wrist, arm and even shoulder, back and neck.
Because of the debilitating pain and inability to perform daily tasks many people seek pain relief. This has grown an entire industry of pain relief products for people with carpal tunnel syndrome. One such industry is magnetic treatment which is thought to help both the pain of carpel tunnel and offer additional support. In one instance a brace of foam with plastic has been manufactured for use with magnetic treatment.
However, while many people seek alternative pain relief methods to decrease the number of medications they ingest, a vast majority will turn to traditional Western medicine for pain relief methods. Healthcare practitioners will often start with over the counter anti-inflammatory medications in order to control the inflammation and decrease the pain. By addressing the cause of the pain patients have a better chance of controlling the discomfort.
Another option is corticosteroid injections which are meant to accomplish the very same thing. The injection is made at the site of the inflammation which increases the amount of steroid delivered to the injured area. Oral corticosteroids are not nearly as effective as injectables.
Patients also find that by bracing the wrist and keeping it in neutral position they are able to decrease the pain caused by repeated motion, flexion and rotation. Braces are usually purchased over the counter and use Velcro closure. They maintain the wrist at 25 in order to improve circulation and decrease stress.
If noninvasive traditional Western medicine treatment protocols are not effective patients have two other options. The first is surgical intervention and the second are complementary medicine or alternative medicine options.
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine option which has some case study to back up the claims made for treatment. However at this time there are no conclusive research studies which can states that acupuncture has a beneficial role in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treatment by acupuncture is thought to release natural pain relieving chemicals, promote circulation and balance the nervous system. It entails similar treatment to other acupuncture treatments. This means that thin, sterile needles are placed into specific points on the body meant to unblock energy pathways called meridians. The number of sessions recommended will depends on how long you’ve had symptoms, the intensity and how much you use your hands and arms.
In several research studies vitamin B6 deficiency has been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers found that individuals who have higher levels of vitamin B6 had fewer diagnoses of carpal tunnel syndrome. They also found that higher levels of vitamin C, relative to lower vitamin B6, were associated with higher levels of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another alternative practice which has been shown through research at the University of Pennsylvania to provide positive benefits to people with carpal tunnel syndrome is yoga. People in the study group did 11 yoga postures twice weekly for eight weeks and showed significant improvement in grip strength and pain reduction compared to people in the control group who wore only wrist splints.
Two other complementary medicine practices which are used with people who have carpal tunnels syndrome are Hellerwork and Feldenkrais. In Hellerwork be practitioner performs the body work which includes deep tissue massage, education and a certain amount of counseling. Use of Feldenkrais is a form of movement re-education. People are taught how to move their bodies most efficiently to reduce joint stress, muscle strain and improve flexibility.
No matter which route you choose for pain relief from carpal tunnel syndrome it is important that you also address the causative action behind the development of the condition. This means that if you don’t address the reason why it happened in the first place you may receive good pain relief but will be at a much higher risk for re-occurrence very quickly.
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