We have all heard of it. Many of us have experienced it. But what is really going on in our arm and wrist, and what can we do to solve it or, better yet, prevent it?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the wrist lined with many bones, ligaments and nerves.
Over time--with the constant use of our hands and wrists, carrying heavy items and minor injuries--pressure builds on those ligaments, bones and nerves. When the pressure reaches the median nerve, it causes a consistent pain known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Tingling or numbness in the thumb and index, middle or ring fingers may occur, but not the little finger. The sensation may travel from your wrist up your arm. These symptoms often occur while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper, or may wake you from sleep.
Weakness in your hand that may cause you to drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb's pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.
There are several causes for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). At the Point of Health, we do four diagnostic exams to determine the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome specifically. There are certain usual factors that cause carpal tunnel syndrome; however, we will focus on Liver and Spleen Blood Deficiency.
One of the spleen’s main functions is to add nutrition to the blood. If the digestive system is not working properly, the amount of nutrition in the blood will decrease. Just like us, cells need a certain amount of nutrition to function well. When nutrition decreases, the cells’ functionality decreases as well. The liver is in charge of the tendons and the spleen is in charge of the muscles. Both the tendons and the muscles need nutrient-rich blood to perform their tasks. When there is a decreased amount of (nutritional) blood, these two areas become weakened, leading to numbness, tingling and decreased muscle strength. It is a perfect setup for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
At the Point of Health, we work on addressing the root cause of your condition to promote holistic wellness and to decrease your specific symptoms. We use the ancient and time-tested practices of acupuncture alongside herbs, nutritional advice, essential oils, natural/home remedies, and lifestyle changes to meet all of your health care needs.
Here are some things you can do to work on your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Keep your arms and wrists warm. Wear adequate clothing to cover the arms, shoulders and neck to avoid exposure to cold
Take a 30-minute hot baths with Ai Ye and Epsom salt. This will help to relax tense muscles, improve blood flow and draw toxins from the tissue
Blend 3 drops of basil, 3 drops of marjoram, 2 drops of lemongrass and 2 drops of cypress with 1 Tbs. of fractionated coconut oil. Massage a small amount gently into the arm from the shoulder to the fingertips
Eat plenty of whole grains, seafood, dark green veggies and nuts. These foods are rich in vitamin B complex and magnesium, which are essential for nerve health and relaxation of tense muscles
Take in an adequate amount of minerals such as calcium and potassium for pain management. Deficiency of these minerals will lead to spasms, cramps and tense muscles