Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition in which the median nerve (the nerve which runs down the length of the arm) becomes compressed at the wrist. The compression may cause numbness, tingling, pain, and other unpleasant sensations in your hand, wrist, and fingers. The syndrome can be treated with specialized exercises, wrist splints, pain relievers, and, if all else fails, with surgery.
Diet also plays a role in the successful treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Below, we list a few foods to add to your diet which may relieve the symptoms, and a few other diet tips to ease the condition.
5 foods to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
Eat more of the following foods to get relief:
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin B6, one of the vitamins which have been shown to ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Spinach is easy to add to your diet, and it's best to eat it raw to get the most out of it.
2. Chili peppers
Chili peppers contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been shown to relieve pain and inflammation associated with various conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Use chili peppers in cooking, or, if you are not a fan, try taking capsaicin supplements (after checking with your doctor first).
2. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers and other brightly-colored vegetables, such as other red peppers, yellow peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens, can act as natural anti-inflammatories and ease your symptoms. Add more colorful fresh fruits and veggies to your diet; there's a varied palette of tastes and colors to choose from.
Pineapple is a unique source of the enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain can reduce inflammation and bring relief from your symptoms. The enzyme is also a natural blood thinner.
Bromelain is found primarily in pineapple stems, but the fruit itself also contains the enzyme.
Walnuts are a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, another nutrient which can bring down inflammation. Other good sources of omega-3 include chia seeds and flaxseeds. Feel free to add walnuts or seeds to your salads, smoothies, or yogurt.
Not only does turmeric add spice to your dishes, but it also contains an anti-inflammatory substance called curcumin. Use turmeric in cooking or take it in the form of a supplement (with the approval from your doctor).
A few diet tips to bring down inflammation and ease your carpal tunnel syndrome
In addition to eating more foods mentioned above, follow these tips to get relief:
- limit salt (sodium) in your diet to 1,500 mg a day or even less (the amount recommended by the American Heart Association) to prevent fluid retention which can cause pressure in the carpal tunnel;
- limit sugar in your diet, as it contributes to inflammation;
- limit refined grains, processed meats, and any processed foods, as they can worsen inflammation everywhere in your body, including the carpal tunnel;
- consider taking a vitamins-B complex supplement;
- drink less alcohol (if any alcohol at all), especially if you're taking pain relievers.
Eating more anti-inflammatory foods and less foods that cause inflammation can be of great help when it comes to treating carpal tunnel syndrome. But if diet changes and home remedies aren't enough to relieve your symptoms, consider a surgery.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.