Wrist Pain Relief Home Remedies
Perhaps you have been sitting at the computer playing that new game far too long and your wrists are hurting. You are looking to find some wrist pain relief. True, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome starting to set in; however, it could also simply be that you have been typing and clicking on the computer for an extended period. Fortunately, there are many simple home remedies to try for wrist pain relief.
The first thing you should do is to stop using your wrists so much. Although this sounds simple, you would be surprised at how many people continue to pound away on the computer keyboard or engage in other wrist straining activities while experiencing pain and discomfort. The wrists simply need to rest. Other parts of your body need to rest, so why not your wrists? Living in the world of technology, part of the work routine for many is to type on the computer during the day; however, when at home, it is important to give those wrists a much-needed break.
If you believe that your wrists could be suffering from a repetitive strain injury, then it is time to break out the elastic support bandage to give your wrists some support. A stiffer brace could also be used to give wrist pain relief. When you cannot get good relief, see a health care professional.
Taking an anti-inflammatory medication that is available over the counter is also effective for wrist pain relief. This works quite well if you suspect that it may be arthritis flaring up. Aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen all will reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain. Acetaminophen also works well as a pain reliever.
Drink some water. Although this sounds really too simple to work; however the fact is, it is a wonderful lubricant for the body. Whether your wrists are tired from overuse, or it’s a mild case of arthritis, all you may need is some extra water flowing through and lubricating those joints in the wrist.
Consider trying peppermint oil. Combine peppermint oil with another oil, so that the strength of the pure peppermint oil is cut down. It is going to burn with the heat on your wrists if it is not cut down with vegetable or olive oil. Mix three or four parts of olive oil or vegetable oil, to one or two parts peppermint oil as a mix ratio, and then just rub onto the aching wrists. The wrists should feel better after the numbing from the peppermint oil wears off a bit, which usually takes only a few minutes. There are also some topical gels or creams that work well. These can be purchased at the local drug store. These include Icy Hot and Aspercreme, just to name a few.
Barring serious injury -which, of course, your doctor should tend to immediately- here’s how to get a handle on wrist pain.
Do no further harm. Protecting your wrist from further damage is often the first step in healing it. So if you’re pretty sure why your wrist is starting to hurt—for example, you’ve been tapping away at the computer keyboard on an all-nighter—ease up. If you can’t stop completely—for example, if typing is your job—some physicians recommend that you alternate the typing with your other work duties. Modify your work habits, if you can. Take frequent breaks, and try to keep your hands and wrists in a straight line, not bent up or down. The doctor may prescribe splints as a gentle reminder, though many people only wear them at night.
Chill out. Using an ice pack on the pain may be helpful, says Bogard. Apply mineral oil to the skin where the pack will be placed. Put a damp towel over the oil and place the ice pack on the towel. Cover the pack with added towels for insulation. Leave the pack in place for 10 to 20 minutes, he advises. Check your skin every 5 to 10 minutes. If the skin turns white or blue (which would indicate a potential for frostbite), remove the ice pack immediately.
Take your shots. In more painful cases, the doctor may inject cortisone directly into the carpal canal to reduce the pain and swelling.
Search for the source. To tell exactly where the injury has occurred and whether there is any nerve damage, your doctor may recommend a procedure called an electromyelogram (EMG). During this test, your physician will measure the condition of your muscles in the injured area by inserting needles with electrodes into the muscles and reading the electrical signals. This helps to locate where the nerve is injured and the extent of the damage. This isn’t necessary for everybody, but it may be called for if the location of your injury isn’t readily apparent.
Consider surgery, when necessary. In more serious carpal tunnel syndrome cases, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure against the nerve and blood vessels. This is outpatient surgery—you’re in and out in a day. It usually requires only a local anesthetic, says David Rempel, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a biomedical engineer. “The doctor makes an incision into the wrist and palm and cuts the tight ligament or band that forms the ‘roof’ of the carpal tunnel. That releases pressure,” says Dr. Rempel. “The second version of that surgery is performed with an endoscope—a tube about the thickness of your little finger. A small incision is made in the wrist or palm, and a tiny knife, like a switchblade at the end of the tube, can cut the ligament from inside your wrist. This surgery is surprisingly effective at relieving the symptoms.”
When To See Your Doctor
* Significant wrist pain persists for more than a day.
* There is also weakness or numbness in the hand.
* You’ve had an accident recently, your wrist looks deformed and you’re unable to move it.
* You also hear clicking, popping or grinding noises.
If a home remedy does not work, simply call your doctor and make an appointment. Be prepared to explain what remedies that you have tried and the outcome you got from them. They will be able to help you with further treatment after an evaluation and some tests. A diagnosis is the first step for effective wrist pain relief, so if your wrist pain continues, or if it gets worse over time, be sure to give your physician a call. Do not suffer in silence any longer. There are many ways to treat wrist pain.