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Ayurvedic Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Viswachi Ayurveda | AVCRI | Since 1957

Updated: Jun 30


Ayurvedic Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Viswachi Ayurveda | AVCRI | Since 1957

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Ayurvedic Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a frequently occurring condition that impacts the upper limbs. It occurs when the median nerve is compressed as it travels through the wrist in the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a band-like compartment at the inner side of the wrist through which the median nerve, which supplies to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger; and muscle tendons pass. Many tendons and the median nerve pass through this tunnel. When one or more tendons swell or degenerate, the canal gets narrowed. As a result, median nerve compression occurs, resulting in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It affects 3% of the general adult population, with a predominance in females.


Clinical features
  • Pain, numbness, tingling sensation, and burning sensation in the thumb, index finger, middle finger

  • The symptoms start gradually and are aggravated at night.

  • Wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb is seen in later stages.

  • A weak grip in performing activities.

  • The condition is often in both wrists together and is often treated with medicine.

  • More Severe Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Loose muscle control over its movements.

  • In severe cases all 5 fingers of that particular hand become affected by weakness


Causative Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repetitive hand movements, prolonged and improper wrist positioning, obesity, hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause, certain medical conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, and genetic predisposition.

  • Daily household activities.

  • Work with the use of vibrating tools.

  • Activities that require a strong grip such as computer work with a mouse, prolonged writing, sewing, playing instruments, etc.

 

Who is at Risk?

People who work in occupations that involve repetitive hand movements, such as typing, assembly line work, or playing musical instruments, are at a higher risk. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is seen associated with pregnancy, edema, trauma, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, hypothyroidism, malunited Colle’s fracture, and diabetes mellitus.


Treatment modalities of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Surgery and lifestyle changes are the options in allopathy medications


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Ayurvedic Analysis

When vata got increases, it causes symptoms like pain, numbness, etc, and here sandhi (joint) is affected. Therefore, this condition is included under ‘Vatavyadhi’. As per Ayurveda, if the kandara (strand-like structure) along/ opposite fingers and palm get attacked by vata, it is called “viswachi’ which is characterized by restricted movements of the sandhi (wrist). 


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causative Factors according to Ayurveda

The causative factors of aggravation of vata are excess intake of tastes like bitter/ pungent / astringent; very cold food, skipping meals, eating fewer amounts of food, keep awakening at night, over activity (of the body part), age related wear and tear etc. 


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

Internal Medication: 

Ayurvedic herbs and formulations that address Vata imbalance are often prescribed to alleviate CTS symptoms. These may include Ashwagandha, Rasna ,Guggulu, Shallaki, and Dashamoola


External treatments include
  1. Abhyanga: This process involves massaging the affected area with medicated oil for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Swedana: Fomentation can be given on the affected pat using medicated herbs. The various fomentation method that can be adopted are Patra Pinda Sweda, Shastika Sali Pinda Sweda, Nadi Sweda and Pariseka Sweda.

  3. Upanaha: Medicated herbs or powder can be tied and left in the wrist joints as time prescribed by the physician.

  4. Dhara: Pouring medicated decoction, oil or milk to the affected area is part of panchakarma. Kashaya Dhara, Taila Dhara

  5. Lepa: Application of medicated paste on the wrist joint is advised.

  6. Greeva Vasti is an important panchakarma treatment. – The process of retaining medicated oils on the cervical spine is recommended for soothing the nerves, as per the teachings in Charaka Samhita.

  7. Bandhana: Bandaging the area alone or after application with medicinal oils or herbs.Agni karma: Agni karma can be performed as a last resort for the management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  8. Along with these ayurveda therapies, intake of Ayurvedic medicinal supplements is also necessary for the management of the disease.

  9. Pichu: Applying cotton soaked in suitable oil over the affected part

  10. Vasthy: In intensified cases


Diet to be followed in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Correcting the diet is the key to normalizing the levels of Tridosha in the body. Follow a healthy diet according to one’s age, prakruthi, occupation etc. Avoid red meat, spicy food, cold food, curd, Bengal gram, etc as per the direction of the physician. Drink more water.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

  1. Avoid overactivity of the wrist joint.

  2. Maintain healthy body weight.

  3. Take proper rest in between works that demand increased movement of the wrist and fingers. 

  4. Apply suitable oil all over the body and bathe in mild hot water. Control diabetes with the right medicine and diet.

  5. Quit smoking. 

  6. Practicing regular hand and wrist exercises to improve flexibility and strength.

  7. Maintaining proper posture while working or performing activities that strain the wrists

  8. Taking breaks and stretching the hands and wrists during repetitive tasks

  9. Avoiding excessive pressure or forceful movements on the affected hand

  10. Incorporating stress-reducing techniques like meditation or yoga to manage Vata imbalance


Q: What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, leading to symptoms like pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand.


Q: How does ayurveda approach the management of carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Ayurveda approaches the management of carpal tunnel syndrome through a combination of therapies like snehana (oleation), swedana (sudation), virechana (purgation), and specific herbal medications to balance the vata dosha and improve nerve function.


Q: What are the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome according to ayurveda?

A: According to Ayurveda, common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected hand, which are all indicative of an imbalance in the vata dosha, as described in the science of Ayurveda.


Q: How can ayurvedic treatment help in managing carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Ayurvedic treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome aims to reduce pain and inflammation, improve nerve function, strengthen muscles in the hand and wrist, and address any underlying imbalances in the body through holistic therapies and herbal medications.


Q: What role does consultation play in the ayurvedic management of carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Consultation with an experienced ayurvedic physician is crucial in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome as it helps in identifying the causative factors, customizing treatment according to the patient's constitution, and monitoring progress during the course of treatment.


Q: Are there any complications associated with carpal tunnel syndrome if left untreated?

A: If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to complications such as worsening of symptoms, muscle atrophy, and permanent nerve damage, emphasizing the importance of timely intervention and appropriate management.


Q: How can ayurvedic management of carpal tunnel syndrome be personalized for individual patients?

A: Ayurvedic management of carpal tunnel syndrome can be personalized based on the patient's unique constitution, severity of symptoms, underlying imbalance, and response to treatment, ensuring a comprehensive and tailored approach to healing.


Q: Can CTS be cured without surgery?

A: Yes, by following lifestyle changes and diet, it can be managed according to Ayurveda.


Q: Is heat or ice better for carpal tunnel?

A: Ayurveda recommends warm therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Q: What is the first line of investigation for carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Nerve conduction study is a common investigation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Q: What is the first aid treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?

A: Intake of classical preparations made with guggul /guggulu.

 

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