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Healing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Ayurveda

Posted Mar 23 2013 8:25am

Compression of Median nerve is what clinically termed as ‘Carpal tunnel syndrome’. The median nerve travels down the arm into the hand through a narrow path. At wrist this narrow path is compressed by various physical and physiological reasons end up in discomfort. The level of discomfort varies from simple dull ache to complete numbness of the hand. The symptoms inclusive of tingling sensation, numbness, weakness, pain in hand as a whole or restricted to some fingers, forearm and elbow.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be result of overuse, strain, forceful or stressed motions of hands and wrists. Recent studies have indicated that continuous typing; excessive usage computers etc are primary causes for Carpal tunnel syndrome though the clinical evidences are still not satisfactory. Clinically software engg, IT professionals, architects and computer users are reported in high numbers than common people.

Incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in women is as much as three times higher than men. Age does play a role as the incidence is recorded high between the ages of 45 and 52. Other health conditions contributes to this condition like diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, long time contraceptives, menopause, PMS. Fluid retention in women too contributes. Studies have shown that smokers and alcoholics may experience acute symptoms and slower recovery than non smokers and non alcoholics.

Carpal tunnel syndrome starts with mild pain or discomfort in the wrist region and slowly spreads to hand and forearm. Common symptoms of this condition includes

a. Numbness of fingers and hand specifically over thumb, index and middle fingers.
b. This numb or pain increases during driving, holding any object or simply when wake up in the morning
c. Usually associated with radiating from wrist towards upper arm and shoulders
d. More confined to front side of the forearm
e. Persistent sense of weakness in the hands
f. Numbness of hand or fingers

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected based on the symptoms and the distribution of the hand numbness. Examination of the neck, shoulder, elbow, pulses, and reflexes is performed to exclude other conditions that can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome. The wrist is examined for swelling, warmth, tenderness, deformity, and discoloration.

Ayurveda’s views of Carpal tunnel syndrome

Ayurveda explains that the three bio energies are responsible for all physical and psychological wellbeing. Imbalance or vitiation of these three together or any one leads to the formation of the disease/ disorder. Increase or vitiation of Vata or air element results in compression and pain. Ayurveda’s management of Carpal tunnel syndrome involves the management of vitiated vata dosha (air element). Ayurveda’s primary aim is to ease the inflammation and pain by improving the blood circulation and relaxing the muscles.

Ayurveda itself recommends a holistic approach with Ayurveda medicines and therapies, Vatahara life style and diets, Yoga and exercises for the management of Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ayurveda therapies like Pizchil, Navara Kizhi, Ela Kizhi, Mamsa Navara Kizhi etc are very effective in reducing the pain and numbness. A 7-21 day therapy program comprises of general massage with herbal steam to Mamsa Navara Kizhi (Meat based External application) to bring back the normalcy.

Mamsa Navara Kizhi is one of the specialized treatments used specifically to treat this condition. Warm oil application followed by external application of warm or hot paste made from red meat, green gram, rice and herbal powders. This process improves the blood circulation, relaxes the muscular system and heals the affected nervous system swiftly. This treatment is offered for 7-21 days depends on the condition of the patient.

Ayurveda medicines like cervilon, Zeotone, Yoga raja Guggulu, Kaishora Guggulu, Lakshadi Guggulu, and Tryodashanga Guggulu etc are very effective in managing pain and inflammation.

Ayurveda recommends Abhyanga – Oil massage followed by herbal steam bath once a week for the prevention and management of this condition.

Prevention is better than cure


a. Relax and reduce the force: Simple daily practice that keeps the hands and wrists soft should be practiced. For example, prolonged hand writing, using long pen with soft grip.
b. Break: Taking break during continuous hand usage helps the muscles to relax and there by helps prevention
c. Improving the posture: Maintain correct posture during walking, sitting, driving, sleeping helps
d. Maintain warmth: Cold environment, working or exposure to cold weather can stiffen the muscles and leads to painful conditions. Keeping the palms and hand warmth helps the muscles relaxed.

 


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