Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve compression syndrome. It is characterized by nerve pain and numbness or tingling and weakness of the hand. It is common in professions that involve repetitive hand movements over long periods of time, such as computer work. This produces continuous pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist (through the carpal tunnel) into the fingers. Swelling causes a decrease in the size of the canal or an increase in the size of the tissues that run through it. Carpal tunnel is a feedback situation. The inflammatory response itself can cause pain, and more swelling causes more pain. It’s important to break the pain/inflammation cycle. The pressure on the nerve is worsened by positioning the wrist in extreme positions of flexion or extension. This results in decreased conductivity of the median nerve.
Standard medical treatments:
NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs)
Activity modification* (it’s really important to rest the overused hand)
Supportive and alternative treatments:
Vitamin B6 – nerve nutrient
Magnesium – muscle relaxant
Flax oil / fish oil – anti-inflammatory
Bromelain – enzymatic anti-inflammatory
Traumeel – combination remedy for inflammation and would healing
Hypericum – for nerve pain
Hydrotherapy – hot epsom salt soaks, herbal warm packs
Analgesic packs – castor oil, hemp oil, Chinese herbal liniment
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cannabis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a mononeuropathy, a specialized type of neuropathic pain accompanied by swelling and inflammation. Cannabis has been known to be effective for nerve pain since the 1800s. Patients often report that they achieve better control of neuropathic pain with cannabis than with many other medications and can often decrease or eliminate their need for Neurontin or Lyrica. It is also helpful used topically for Carpal Tunnel, applied directly to the inflamed area for pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory without psychoactive effects. Many medical marijuana patients report faster resolution of Carpal Tunnel symptoms by incorporating cannabis into their treatment program.