According to statistics, one to five percent of the global population suffers from CTS. So what exactly is CTS? And are their effective remedies like CBD? Let’s explore in detail.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (also known as CTS) causes various uncomfortable symptoms that affect the arms, hands, and fingers. As it affects a large number of people, you can always find people looking for effective remedies. This is where CBD oil comes in.
But first this first – what exactly is CTS? What causes it? And why are more people turning to CBD oil for carpal tunnel pain treatment?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What Does It Mean?
There is a narrow pathway – a soft tissue known as ‘carpal tunnel’ in your wrist. This tunnel contains the median nerve responsible for sensation and movement in your thumb, palm, and first three fingers.
Bones and ligaments surround this tunnel, making it susceptible to pressure due to lifestyle and occupational activities.
When the median nerve gets pressed, squeezed, or pinched due to the inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding it, pain or other unusual feelings known as carpal tunnel syndrome can set in.
CTS is a form of ‘entrapment neuropathy,’ which means that the problem does not originate from the median nerve fibers.
The pressure on the median nerves by the surrounding anatomy causes pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
CTS symptoms usually develop gradually and worsen with time. According to the studies, the medical condition mostly affects people between the age of 40 and 60 years. Women are likely to suffer twice compared to men.
Most CTS patients start observing the signs in their dominant hand. These symptoms can eventually move down to their non-dominant hand. The symptoms of CTS include:
- Itching, pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the fingers (especially in the middle, index, thumb, and ring fingers)
- Fingers feel swollen but have no visible swelling
- Weakened grip
- Tingling or pain in the hand that may move towards the shoulder
- Clumsiness and weakness in the hand that makes simple tasks like buttoning your clothes a challenge
CTS symptoms often get worse at night and can disrupt their patient’s quality of sleep.
What Causes CTS?
CTS occurs when the carpal tunnel becomes inflamed and presses or squeezes the median nerve. A combination of factors causes this condition, some of which includes:
- Tumors or cysts
- Engaging in activities that hold the wrist in an unusual position for prolonged periods
- Using vibrating equipment
- Repetitive use of the wrist (this includes activities that require repetitive wrist motion like typing, playing drums, or tennis)
- Wrist injury
Studies show that older people and women who are pregnant or overweight are more likely to develop CTS.
Medical conditions like the overactive pituitary gland, underactive thyroid gland, diabetes, and arthritis can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In most cases, rest and abstinence from the activities that aggravate the wrist will resolve carpal tunnel syndrome. However, you can speed up your recovery process by:
- Wearing a splint or brace at night to prevent wrist bending while you sleep.
- Applying ice or cold pack to the affected area.
- Performing yoga or wrist and hand exercises.
- Seeing a chiropractor or acupuncturist.
- Using prescription painkillers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
If the above methods do not relieve your symptoms, the next option is to visit a doctor. Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure known as carpal tunnel release or the use of a steroid injection.
While painkillers and steroid injections can provide relief from CTS symptoms, this relief is sometimes temporary. Also, the continued use or misuse of these drugs can lead to harmful side effects.
For instance, NSAIDs can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney and liver problems
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
And some other unwanted side effects.
Studies have shown that the side effects of NSAID alone cause about 16,500 deaths and over 100,000 hospitalizations in the US. Alarming, isn’t it?
On the other hand, surgery is an invasive procedure. It is only recommended in extreme cases due to the associated risk.
Most individuals do not wish to go through an invasive procedure for CTS treatment, while others cannot tolerate the harmful side effects of steroid injection and NSAIDs. This is where alternative natural remedies come into play.
But are natural remedies like the use of CBD oil effective? Are there any effective products like CBD oil for carpal tunnel pain? Let’s answer these important questions in the next section.
To start with, natural remedies need to improve circulation, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation. That’s where CBD oil and CBD carpal tunnel treatment come into play.
What is CBD?
We have also covered the topic in detail in one of our previous posts, but here is a quick review.
Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is a chemical compound naturally found in hemp and marijuana plants (Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis sativa). It contains several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – the reason why people use it for carpal tunnel pain.
CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, which is why there’s a common misconception that it works like medical marijuana that gets its users high. Actually, CBD oil is not psychoactive as it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – marijuana’s active ingredient that makes users high.
Why CBD Oil Works?
Now, here is the key question, does CBD oil for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome really work? Well, it does, and here is the science behind it.
Cannabidiol offers an effective natural treatment for different diseases, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its impact on the brain.
When doctors recommend NSAIDs for carpal tunnel to reduce pain and inflammations, CBD oil can do this for people without the use of NSAIDs. Even though it has some mild side effects, it does not produce the awful side effects offered by painkillers and NSAIDs.
This makes the use of CBD oil for carpal tunnel pain a better alternative treatment.
Naturally, the human body produces endocannabinoids. When you introduce CBD oil into your body, it impacts your CB1 cannabinoid and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabidiol influences your body to produce more endocannabinoid 2-AG, which binds to your CB2 receptor to help reduce inflammation.
It also elevates the endocannabinoid anandamide that binds to the CB1 receptor. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor influences your neurological functions and pain perception.
As a result, you may experience improved comfort and reduced pain sensitivity, as well as better emotions, mood, and motor skills.
What’s more? CBD can modulate your immune system to give you a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
How to Use CBD Oil for Carpal Tunnel Pain?
There are many ways to use CBD for carpal tunnel. Here is how you can consume CBD if you want relief from carpal tunnel pain.
- Most people prefer placing a few drops of CBD in oil form under their tongue. This is an effective way as it allows CBD to pass directly into your bloodstream.
- On the other hand, some people prefer edibles and capsules, which is more convenient.
- Vaping cannabinoid is another popular CBD dosing method. This method also allows CBD to enter straight into your bloodstream for immediate effects.
- The use of CBD topical is another popular alternative. CBD topicals allow you to apply cannabinoid and massage it directly only on your wrists where it is needed the most.
How to Make Sure You are Buying the Right CBD Product?
When finding a CBD carpal tunnel product, selecting a brand that utilizes full-spectrum CBD may be beneficial.
So what does full-spectrum CBD product mean? These products contain other cannabinoids and compounds (also known as terpenes) that offer some therapeutic properties.
Moreover, some experts believe that the terpenes produce the ‘entourage effect’ as they work together synergistically.
Some additional aspects to look out for when choosing a CBD carpal tunnel product include:
- The certificate of analysis (COA), otherwise known as a third-party lab test report. The COA proves that the CBD carpal tunnel brand is legitimate and contains all the required ingredients with no additives.
- Some topical gel contains fragrances and essential oils. You must check to avoid any ingredient that can lead to allergic reactions.
- Product reviews and testimonials for more information on how it works. Ensure that the product is strong enough to meet your needs before you make your final choice. However, the exact dosage for your CTS pain depends on several factors and varies from one person to another.
I hope this article has opened your eyes to what CBD oil means and how it can help your carpal tunnel pain. Although researchers are yet to conduct a specific definitive study on CBD oil and CTS, existing data shows that it is generally effective for neurological pain.
But with the limited effective CTS treatments available, CBD oil for carpal tunnel pain is worth trying. However, is it better to consult your doctor before using CBD oil for carpal tunnel pain.