CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

ESSENTIAL OILS

Wintergreen and Peppermint. Can reduce inflammation and pain.

Cypress. Improves circulation and reduces swelling.

Helichrysum. May decrease pain; supports nerve tissue repair.

Frankincense. Known to reduce inflammation, which may help ease pain.

Research
According to a 2015 study, the anti-inflammatory response of methyl salicylate (active ingredient in wintergreen oil) is comparable to that of a commonly prescribed NSAID (anti-inflammatory) drug known as fenoprofen.

Home Remedy
Apply a mixture of 1 to 2 drops each of wintergreen, cypress and helichrysum topically to the affected area three times daily. You can also add the oils to a warm-water bath.

Background
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful progressive condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. It is extremely common, affecting up to 6 percent of adults in the U.S. The carpal tunnel, which houses the median nerve, can become thickened and cause the nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture, hypothyroidism, arthritis, work stress, repeated use of vibrating hand tools or fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.

Suggested Supplements

» Vitamin B6. Reduces nerve inflammation. Take 100 milligrams three times daily.

» Bromelain. An enzyme found in pineapple; has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Take 500 milligrams three times between meals.