Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Carpal Tunnel and Essential Oils

Yesterday I thought I was going to do a straight-through series of blogs about aspects of infertility, but I will defer that for a day since a good friend of mine is talking about the pain in the wrist of tenosynovitis-- more commonly known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I want to give her some ideas on how to deal with that using the most pleasant of all interventions (therapeutic-grade essential oils).

Here is a video about 'carpal tunnel release' done surgically. You may want to think seriously at some less invasive techniques for the release (as below with essential oils, icing, and NOT overdoing all the fine motor work without doing compensating exercises and resting properly "on purpose").

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of several conditions that result from repetition of a pattern of movements. Other examples of this Repetitive Strain Syndrome are 'tennis elbow', 'writer's cramp' and theganglion cysts that develop on the wrists of computer keyboardists who leave their computer at work and then spend hours at home on Facebook, et al. In general, people who use their wrists a lot (carpenters, typists, super-nerds, pianists, painters, knitters)are prone to develop tenosynovitis.

A good diagnosis is important for treatment.

Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the fibrous sheaths that are wrapped around the tendons of the ankles and wrists. With the inflammation there is often a spectrum of related symptoms:
  • immediate acute pain and a dull ache that can travel up the forearms or legs
  • grinding and cracking noises
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • crampy stiffness
  • increasing weakness
  • sometimes, swelling

    The ergonomic folks (usually people you work with who have taken a course with Occupational Health and Safety) have a whole list of recommendations, some of which you will find on the slide show at the bottom of this page). It's a good idea to use the furniture and assorted appliances properly when you have them-- don't slump or let your wrists flag (clue: if your wrists are tired and if your hands are cramped, what does that tell you?). Take breaks in your activities if they are repetitive. Those are the commonsense suggestions from people familiar with this condition.

    Some Ideas of How To Deal With The Pain:

    On the internet I see three other common suggestions for carpal tunnel sufferers. I have added my own spin:

    (1)Take painkillers, both over-the-counter and prescribed. (I don't do this myself and have trouble recommending it... this is stuff that other people suggest for pain management... standard dealing with the symptoms and ignoring the effects of the drugs used to deal with the symptoms.)

    (2)Surgery. (My very last choice... but I'll let you do your own research and decision-making around this most invasive method of dealing with wrist pain and inflammation).

    (3)Ice the area and stay away from the aggravating activity until there is no more pain. (My notes: ice the area by freezing water in a styrofoam cup and peeling it back to expose about an inch or two of ice. Holding the cup, rub the ice in small circles over the affected area continuously for exactly seven (7) minutes. Don't pause (can cause freezer burn). Reddening means that there is increased blood circulation, which means healing is taking place. After icing, use a warm damp cloth (a washcloth) and gently begin to warm the area a little. Massage lightly with any of the essential oils and blends as listed below. Take a break of a day or two and just ice on a regular basis (maybe every three hours or so) until the pain has disappeared or diminished entirely). Think of ways to vary your activities so that you will not re-afflict your wrists. Accupuncture and similar "energy" therapies are often successfully used either separately, or in conjunction with other treatment. Click here to learn about how the "energy tapping" technique can help you with alleviating pain-- be guided through learning this amazing self-help technique by one of the gurus in the field.

    These are essential oils that should be in your Repetitive Strain First Aid kit if you are someone who works using their wrists a great deal:

  • Chamomile Roman
  • Chamomile German
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus

    Essential 7 above includes Peppermint, Lavender and Panaway Oils

    Massage Formula A:
    10 drops each of: Peppermint, Lavender, and Eucalyptus Essential Oils diluted in 2 tablespoons of Virgin Coconut Oil or a good nut oil.

    Massage Formula B: "The Big Guns"
    (1)Apply Young Living 1 - 2 drops "neat" to the wrist. Panaway contains Peppermint plus Helychrysm, Wintergreen, and Clove essential oils. I learned of this procedure from my Filippina nurse who had been slated for surgery but decided, in stead, to try the oils that she had had such success with previously.

    --Wait for three minutes and then put 1-2 drops of Young LivingValor on top (layered) of the Panaway. The Valor will allow the Panaway to penetrate more deeply. Valor contains Rosewood, Blue Tansy and Boswellia Carteri Oil, Somalian Frankincense.

    To further decrease the inflammation, it is a good idea to pursue a more alkiline-creating lifestyle. Many foods (particularly sugar, grains, and animal products)up the acidity of your system, which creates more inflammation. Eat more fresh, organic, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables and tender greens. Green Smoothies are your best bet for eliminating inflammation and building health!

    *I recommend pure Young Living Essential Oils be used. Information about application and formulas for essential oil therapy is taken from The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, by Valerie Ann Worwood.
    Cynthia Zirkwitz
    YLEO Ind. Distributor
    Referral #607652
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    DEENIE said...

    Thank you so much for this info. I use essential oils for everything and I go to my Young Living big Book for references all the time. this article on carpal tunnel has helped immensely, I will start the therapy tomorrow.

    Cynthia said...

    That's great Deenie-- I certainly hope for the best for you. If you want to try an amazing pain relief technique either as a stand-alone or in conjunction with essential oils, go here---> Please let me know how things go for you! ~Cynthia