7 Natural and Topical Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Relief
In order to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s essential that you follow medical advice. Although we share a few topical remedies that can help to calm it, none of these is a first-line treatment.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons published information that states carpal tunnel syndrome is a recurring problem that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. It develops because the median nerve becomes compromised.
Given that the condition tends to worsen over time, medical attention is essential. The professional will determine which is the best therapeutic option for you depending on your case, after a physical examination and complementary testing. Generally speaking, you may have to wear a splint, take non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroids. More severe cases may require surgery.
Natural topical remedies for carpal tunnel relief
Natural topical remedies have been partly made from natural medicines for hundreds of years. However, there isn’t a lot of evidence about their safety or efficiency. For that reason, you can use them as additional treatments to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, but they should never replace medical treatment.
Furthermore, when possible, you should only consider using them in mild cases. Do you want to try them? Below, we reveal 7 alternatives that may be useful. Be sure to apply them with caution, and stop using them if you notice any bad reactions!
1. Arnica gel for carpal tunnel relief
One of the most practical remedies you can use to relieve carpal tunnel topically is to apply arnica gel to the affected area. This yellow flower really stands out thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, gels and creams made with this plant are a good remedy for any kind of injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. Turmeric, pepper, and olive oil remedy
There’s no evidence that supports the use of this remedy to provide carpal tunnel relief. However, many people believe that it has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties because of its turmeric and pepper content.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics claims that turmeric has the potential to provide pain relief on its own or in combinations with other substances.
Among those, as mentioned by Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, black pepper stands out with anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and neuroprotector properties.
- 3 tablespoons of powdered turmeric
- 3 teaspoons of powdered black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Directions and use
- First, mix the three ingredients together.
- To take it orally, drink a tablespoon half an hour before every meal.
- To apply it topically, put it all over your wrist as an anti-inflammatory lotion.
3. A clay poultice
Clay is one of the most ancient remedies for relieving any type of inflammation. Additionally, it’s very easy to apply to the area affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. You just need to keep in mind that you can’t use utensils or containers made of metal or plastic when preparing it.
According to data published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, the therapeutic uses of clay mainly come from its interesting concentration of minerals.
4. Avocado Oil
According to an article in Molecules journal, avocado oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hydrating properties, thanks to its high vitamin and nutrient content. Although there’s no evidence to support its ability to provide carpal tunnel relief, many people use it as a natural medicine for this purpose.
To increase the effectiveness, we recommend that you massage the affected area with warm avocado oil. You can even use the avocado seed to do the massage.
5. Aloe vera gel for carpal tunnel relief
Aloe vera is a fairly popular remedy. This gelatinous substance that we extract from the long, thick leaves of the aloe plant has beneficial effects on various skin conditions. For example, inflammations, burns, wounds, infections, etc., according to data published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology .
- You can either apply pure aloe vera gel or mix it with one of the previously mentioned remedies such as arnica or avocado oil. In doing this, you’ll multiply the benefits of each ingredient.
- You can also either extract the aloe from the plant yourself or buy some aloe vera gel at a store. Just make sure to buy the most natural product you can find.
6. Chamomile Compress
A publication in the Electronic Physician Journal recognizes that chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, it may be useful for providing relief for carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms.
- You just need to prepare some concentrated chamomile tea and apply it topically to the affected areas using a compress or gauze.
- Alternatively, you could use chamomile essential oil mixed with aloe vera or avocado oil.
Keep reading: Easy, Useful and Natural Chamomile Remedies
7. Cabbage dressing for carpal tunnel relief
Many people use a cabbage leaf dressing in natural medicine to calm inflammation and pain, as you can see in a study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain. Although more evidence is needed, it’s a safe remedy that you can use on the zones affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to do it
- Dip a cabbage leaf in boiling water for a few seconds. Alternatively, you could crush the leaf a little to release the nutrients.
- Apply the leaf to the affected areas of the hand and wrist.
- Next, wrap it with a cloth to fully absorb the excess moisture.
- Now, let sit for half an hour.
- Repeat this two or three times a day until the pain and inflammation are completely gone.
Remedies provide relief
There are several topical remedies that we can use for carpal tunnel relief. Although the evidence is limited, the majority of these are safe and easy to apply. But, overall, it’s always best to get medical advice.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Sevy JO, Varacallo M. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. [Updated 2019 Dec 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448179/
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- Leung, D. (2014). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-385157-4.00652-7
- Damanhouri, Z. A. (2014). A Review on Therapeutic Potential of Piper nigrum L. (Black Pepper): The King of Spices. Medicinal & Aromatic Plants. https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0412.1000161
- Flores M, Saravia C, Vergara CE, Avila F, Valdés H, Ortiz-Viedma J. Avocado Oil: Characteristics, Properties, and Applications. Molecules. 2019;24(11):2172. Published 2019 Jun 10. doi:10.3390/molecules24112172
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- Lauche, R., Gräf, N., Cramer, H., Al-Abtah, J., Dobos, G., & Saha, F. J. (2016). Efficacy of cabbage leaf wraps in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Journal of Pain. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0000000000000352