While activities like knitting and texting loved ones keep you engaged and connected — both benefitting your mental health — they have troubling physical side effects. Because these activities require small, repetitive movements of the hands that, they can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that occurs when the median nerve in your wrist becomes compressed. The resulting symptoms include numbness, tingling, and pain in wrist bones and joints Fortunately, you can ease this painful pinch naturally, and even continue performing your favorite hobbies. Here’s how to relieve carpal tunnel pain with effective science-backed remedies.
Pain-Relieving Tip #1: Flex your fingers.
Doing daily hand stretches significantly lessens carpal tunnel pain. A 2020 study found that participants who performed hand stretches every day for six weeks reduced pain, numbness, and tingling compared to those who didn’t. An easy move: Press your palm against a wall at a 90-degree angle, then use your other hand to gently pull back on the mound at the base of your thumb. Repeat for 30 seconds on each hand four times a day.
Pain-Relieving Tip #2: Grab gloves.
Keep your hands cozy and pain-free with fingerless gloves. A pilot study published in the journal Medical Science Monitor suggests that heat helps the wrist nerve, ligaments, and tendons become more elastic — which may reduce their pinching of the median nerve. Tip: Boost the benefit by opting for compression gloves, which also improve circulation and ease joint pain.
Pain-Relieving Tip #3: Rub with menthol.
Menthol, the key compound in mint, may be a potent carpal tunnel painkiller. A study published in the journal Rehabilitation Research and Practice suggests that massaging menthol gel into achy hands and wrists begins easing carpal tunnel pain after one hour. Researchers say that menthol’s cooling sensation when applied to skin helps make nerves less sensitive to pain.
Pain-Relieving Tip #4: Take omega-3s.
Science reveals that consuming fish oil every day keeps aches and pains away. A 2020 study found that taking a daily dose of 3,000 milligrams of fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, significantly reduces wrist pain within three months. Researchers credit this benefit to omega-3s’ anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, which ease aches and speed healing.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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