Category Archive: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Gingko Supplement To Treat My Hand Numbness

It all started with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 9.5 years ago. I got this dreadful hand and finger pain called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome CTS) about 2 months after Alycia was born. It was so painful that I could not hold a cup or to open the door. Driving to and from work was a challenge. Carrying a baby was even more a challenge. I could not sleep at night as the pain was unbearable. Several months later, after taking some antibiotics prescribed to me by a cardiologist for a prolonged cough, the CTS pain seemed to have subsided! The antibiotics sort of treated the CTS simultaneously. However, the remnants of CTS are still bugging me everyday. The pain and tingling sensation on my hands, especially on my right hand would creep up at around 4am every morning. The pain and numbness are more severe if I sleep on my sides and even worse if the air-conditioned room is very cold.

Today, I bought a bottle of Gingko Biloba supplement. I have read that Gingko is a well-known herbal supplement taken by many people around the world each day to improve their concentration, intellect, and memory. Gingko Biloba works by increasing blood flow in the body. I reckon that the numbness of my hands is also contributed by poor blood flow in my body. Apart from hand numbness, I suffer from partial black-out each time I get up from a squatting position.

The bottle contains 30 Gingko pills. I shall see if the Gingko supplement can relieve my hand numbness after a month. I can’t wait to see the result!

 

 

 

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Trigger Thumb

I had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Trigger Thumb (or Trigger Finger) about a month after I had given birth to my first child, Alycia about 6 years ago. The pain and weakness on my right hand were so bad that I could not even hold a milk bottle or open the door. I really felt like a handicapped with my right hand partly losing function.  After several months of enduring terrible pain and weakness of the hand and fingers on my right hand, especially at night, the pain miraculously went away. However, up until today, there are still numbness and pins and needles on my right hand and fingers, especially at night when I am asleep.

The numbness and pins and needles sensation on my right hand have recently intensified. They are so bad I would be awaken up from my sleep every night.  My right hand would feel as if I had slept on it. To alleviate the discomfort and pain, I have to shake my right hand and prop the hand up on a pillow or bolster. The pins and needles sensation on my hand is worse if I sleep on my right side while I breastfeed Baby. Sometimes it feels so bad I could barely lift my hand up.

Studies suggest that surgery is a better option for severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Surgery is also more likely to be necessary for patients with underlying conditions such as diabetes. Even among patients with mild CTS, there is a high risk of relapse, like in my case. Some researchers are reporting better results when specific exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome are added to the program of treatments.

Preventing And Treating CTS

Limiting Movement. If possible, the patient should avoid activities at work or home that may aggravate the syndrome. The affected hand and wrist should be rested for 2 – 6 weeks. This allows the swollen, inflamed tissues to shrink and relieves pressure on the median nerve. If the injury is work related, the worker should ask to see if other jobs are available that will not involve the same hand or wrist actions. Few studies have been conducted on ergonomically designed furniture or equipment, or on frequent rest breaks. However, it is reasonable to ask for these if other work is not available.

Conservative Treatment Approach

The following conservative approaches have been shown to provide symptom relief:

* Wrist splints
* Corticosteroids (steroids). Injected or short-term oral corticosteroids may be tried if other methods fail.

Other Conservative Approaches

Ice and Warmth. Ice may provide benefit for acute pain. Some patients have reported that alternating warm and cold soaks have been beneficial. (If hot applications relieve pain, most likely the problem is not caused by CTS but by another condition producing similar symptoms.)

Low-Level Laser Therapy. Some investigators are working with low-level laser therapy (LLLT), which generates extremely pure light in a single wavelength. The procedure is painless. Two trials comparing laser therapy to conservative treatment or a placebo laser treatment from no real benefit for this therapy.
Alternative Therapies

Many alternative therapies are offered to sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress disorders. Few, however, have any proven benefit. People should carefully educate themselves about how alternative therapies may interact with other medications or impact other medical conditions, and should check with their doctor before trying any of them.

Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is often used for carpal tunnel syndrome. Studies have not supported its benefits, however, either in oral or cream form. It should also be noted that excessively high doses of vitamin B6 can be toxic and cause nerve damage.

Acupuncture. A very limited amount of evidence shows that acupuncture may be useful as a supplement to standard treatment.

Chiropractic Therapies. Chiropractic techniques have been useful for some people whose condition is produced by pinched nerves. There is little evidence, however, to support its use for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Magnets. Magnets are a popular but unproven therapy for pain relief.

In the past, I’d tried using hot compress and that provided temporary relief.  I shall try that tonight and heat up my cold/hot pack in the microwave.


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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome about 1 month after the birth of my first child, Alycia.  The Chinese would say that the lady in confinement had ‘yup foong’, which literally means that wind has ‘entered’ the body during the 1-month confinement period. 

It was so painful that I couldn’t sleep at night and for one who can pretty much endure pain, I was even in tears at night.   The pain eased a little when I used a hot pack and some deep heat cream on my affected hands.  During the attacks where I would suffer from hand numbness to a tingling sensation to a sharp burning pain on my hands, I had to shake my hands to reduce the numbness and pain.  Allevating my hands on a pillow also helped a great deal. 

For 2-3 months, my hands felt weak and I could not even hold a milk bottle or open the door.  I did not know that I was suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome until I read about the symptoms from the internet.  I didn’t know why I had suffered from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but I was lucky that the pain subsided after 3 months without medication.   However, I would still have pins and needles and numbness on my hands occasionally up until today.  I realize that this normally happens when I sleep in a room that’s too cold or I had been sleeping on my hands on my sides.

Treatments and drugs
Some people with mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can ease their discomfort by taking more frequent breaks to rest their hands and applying cold packs to reduce occasional swelling. If these techniques don’t offer relief, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment options include wrist splinting, medications and surgery.

Nonsurgical therapy
Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome experience effective treatment with nonsurgical methods, including:

Wrist splinting. A splint that holds your wrist still while you sleep can help relieve nighttime symptoms of tingling and numbness. Splinting is more likely to help you if you’ve had only mild to moderate symptoms for less than a year.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs may help relieve pain from carpal tunnel syndrome if you have an associated inflammatory condition. If no inflammatory condition is involved, NSAIDs are unlikely to help relieve your symptoms.

Corticosteroids. Your doctor may inject your carpal tunnel with a corticosteroid, such as cortisone, to relieve your pain. Corticosteroids decrease inflammation, thus relieving pressure on the median nerve. Oral corticosteroids aren’t as effective as corticosteroid injections for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.

Prevention
There are no proven strategies to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but to protect your hands from a variety of ailments, take the following precautions:

Reduce your force and relax your grip.
Most people use more force than needed to perform many tasks involving the hands. If your work involves a cash register, for instance, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink. This way you won’t have to grip the pen tightly or press as hard on the paper.

Take frequent breaks.
Every 15 to 20 minutes give your hands and wrists a break by gently stretching and bending them. Alternate tasks when possible. If you use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force, taking breaks is even more important.

Watch your form.
Avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down. A relaxed middle position is best. If you use a keyboard, keep it at elbow height or slightly lower.

Improve your posture.
Incorrect posture can cause your shoulders to roll forward. When your shoulders are in this position, your neck and shoulder muscles are shortened, compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.

Keep your hands warm.
You’re more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can’t control the temperature at work, put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm.

Information taken from mayoclinic.com.

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