Carpal tunnel syndrome is annoying and painful and usually not quite bad enough to need really aggressive treatment but bad enough to just really bug you. CTS is pressure on the median nerve — the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
In general, you’re told by the doctor to do two things:
- First, figure out the trigger and remove it. Whether it be your computer keyboard, mouse, desk, chair position, steering wheel position, etc, you have to replace with better, shift to a new position, or some such thing, to avoid the problem. So your first thing to do is determine what is causing your CTS and see what you can do about eliminating the cause, or at least lessoning it.
- Second, take an anti-inflammatory medication. Usually ibuprofen. You can also ice it, or heat it, depending on which works best for you. Or even alternate ice and heat.
What essential oils should you use? You want ones that have anti-inflammatory properties. Ones that help stimulate blood flow to the area in question, since it takes proper blood flow to bring the necessary nutrients. The following are oils that have anti-inflammatory properties. (The blends come from Rocky Mountain Oils):
- Singles: German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Yarrow, Helichrysum Italicum, Helichrysum Gymnocephalum, Angelica Root, Birch Bark, Cajeput, Cedarwood Atlas, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus Radiata, Ginger Root, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Sweet Marjoram, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Thyme, Black Cumin, Sandalwood, Jasmine
- Blends: Sports Pro, True Blue, Gentle Healer, Fortify, Relieve Me, Arthritis Plus, Aligning
How to use
You can apply them directly to the area in question by mixing 3-5 drops of the oils with a dime sized amount of F.C.O. or Jojoba (or both) carrier oils and massaging them into the area in question. Also breathe the scent in deeply as you are massaging. This allows the oils to quickly get into your bloodstream as well.
You can also soak the area in question in a hot water bath. You can do a full body bath or just use a bowl for your wrists or elbow or wherever the problem is. Epsom salts can be added to the bath. Add 5-10 drops of the essential oils to the water before soaking. (Make sure you can handle soaking your skin in the oils before taking a full body bath. Test on a small area first.)
What others say
Here is what some friends on facebook like to do:
- JA: “Birch Bark is my new favorite oil.”
- LA: “I would think any anti-inflammatory oil such as Blue Tansy, Peppermint, Clove Bud, Birch Bark, Geranium, Eucalyptus. If it works for you, you should know in just a few minutes. If not, move on to the next RMO oil until you find an anti-inflammatory that works for you. Blue Tansy is real good though.”
- KH: “After cutting out children’s crafts all afternoon, I’ll be using Basil, Oregano, Peppermint, Juniper Berry, & Geranium (quite simply because I have them, but I also like Lavendar, Fir Needle, Sandalwood, Cypress and Lemongrass.)”
- SG: “I’m thinking that any of the mints would work, as would Helichrysum Italicum, Relieve Me, Gentle Healer, and Rejuvenate.”
What has worked for you? What can you share with us to help others deal with carpal tunnel syndrome? Please tell us in the comment section at the bottom of the page.