At Oov, we believe plant medicine has incredible healing properties and is a great starting point when looking for natural alternatives to western medicine. Essential oils are a staple in our house, we always have the diffusers going and try to utilize them first before moving on to harsher medicines and treatments.
Essential oils have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and other pain-relieving properties that make them a great choice in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including carpal tunnel. With so many of us sitting at our desks all day typing, more and more people are experiencing pain in their hands and wrists. Well, we can’t quit our jobs so we came up with a list of oils that can provide you with some relief so you can get on with your day!
But first, what is Carpal Tunnel?
When the median nerve of your hand gets compressed, it leads to pain and numbness in the arm. This results in carpal tunnel syndrome. A narrow passage that has wrist bones and connective tissues around it, which allows the passage of the median nerve and tendons, is called a carpal tunnel. Sometimes the tissues around the tunnel swells pressing the median nerve.
The median nerve imparts the feelings in the thumb and three fingers on your hand. When it gets compressed, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome arises. Some of the causes of this condition include genetic conditions where the tunnel is narrow by birth, a traumatic injury to your wrist, fluid build-up, arthritis, diabetes, pregnancy, obesity, and even just repeated wrist motions.
Some of the symptoms of this condition are pain, numbness, tingling in your wrist, difficulty making a fist, and pain in the upper arms and shoulders.
Below are some of the top essential oils recommended in relieving some of the symptoms.
1. Lavender Oil
This oil is one of the very few types of essential oils that can be used directly. It has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These properties help in soothing the painful inflammation of carpal tunnel. Researchers have found this oil to be extremely helpful and advantageous. It is a magical mix of antimicrobial and sedative properties, which are very useful in healing muscle pain at a paramount level.
2. Peppermint Oil
This oil has excellent analgesic properties, which imparts a cooling effect, and it works like magic on the numbness and tingling. It provides instant relief within 2-3 minutes of its application. Massage it on the affected area for better results. Use this oil by diluting it with carrier oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. Peppermint oil is considered the best when it comes to alleviating carpal tunnel pain.
3. Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen oil soothes the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a miraculous mixture of significant cooling characteristics and also has excellent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. This oil is extracted from the roots of the wintergreen tree, which is found in North America. It gives a considerable amount of pain relief and even has a pleasant fragrance. This oil comes in the list of the top prescribed essential oils for treating carpal tunnel syndrome due to its soothing effects. Do not apply this oil directly, dilute it with carrier oils before use.
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus provides temporary relief from pain and inflammation caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It boosts blood circulation, and reduces blood pressure and pain like no other essential oil can. It also helps muscles gain back lost strength. Use it by diluting it in a carrier oil.
5. Turmeric Oil
Turmeric can be found in most homes, and is one that is worth trying. Turmeric oil has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties and is also an antioxidant, which makes it one of the most used oils for carpal tunnel. It also reduces inflammation in the joints and boosts blood circulation around them. Dilute it with lavender oil or any of the carrier oils before use.
6. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil is another natural anti-inflammatory oil which can be used for treating the pain and stiffness caused by the narrowing of the carpal tunnel. It provides a significant amount of self-healing nutrients to the body.
7. Castor Oil
Castor oil is an excellent remedy for carpal tunnel. It reduces inflammation, suppresses pain, and restores normal functioning in the wrists. Massage it on your hands for 10 to 15 minutes. A bonus is that castor oil makes a great carrier oil for some of the harsher essential oils listed above.
8. Arnica oil
Arnica oil consists of thymol derivatives which contain antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in soothing the pain in your hand and wrist. When you massage this oil, it improves blood circulation of the affected area, which starts the natural healing process.
9. Flaxseed Oil
It is also known as linseed oil, which can help alleviate pain and swelling due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces inflammation.
10. Mix of apple cider vinegar and olive oil
Mix raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Massage it three times every day until you feel improvement.
11. Tea-Tree Oil
It helps in relieving the itching and burning sensation because of various bioactive compounds present in it. Bioactive compounds contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
12. Lemongrass Oil
It helps in providing relief to muscle pain and a reduction in inflammation. Mix it with carrier oils such as olive oil, almond oil, or sesame oil and massage it in your hands.
Supplements and herbs are a great compliment
Vitamins B6 and B12 are one of the best anti-inflammation supplements. It helps in regenerating the damaged nerve tissues. Ginkgo biloba is also a great option as it increases energy levels in your hand and improves blood circulation.
Mix it up!
Obviously, the best solution for those dealing with carpal tunnel would be to avoid keeping your hands in one position for hours. Make sure to give yourself and your hands proper rest after doing one activity for an extended period of time. Taking frequent breaks and stretching is your best bet in avoiding the painful symptoms of this annoying but very common syndrome.
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.