5 Natural Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel can range from mild discomfort to a debilitating condition. Check out these natural remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome to help bring you some relief.

The carpal tunnel actually refers to an area in your wrist that contains a high concentration of nerves. Repetitive activities like typing can cause inflammation in this area that results in pain, tingling, or numbness in your wrist, thumb, and first two fingers.

Related Reading: Chronic pain? You’re not alone!

I have suffered from mild carpal tunnel on and off for years. I’m a freelance writer, so typing has basically been an all day, every day situation. It’s a fun job, but the discomfort is not so fun. Believe it or not, after having my baby my carpal tunnel syndrome went from mild to moderate from the way that I was carrying my son!

You can find carpal tunnel wrist braces at the pharmacy, but I’ve had mixed results with those. I had one that worked great, but it got lost, and the one I bought to replace it actually makes my pain worse. If you go for a brace, I suggest finding one that stabilizes your thumb. That was the main difference between the two braces that I have tried, and I think it was a big one.

Related Reading: 5 Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Taking a break from the activity that’s causing your carpal tunnel syndrome can help relieve symptoms, but if the cause is also your livelihood, that’s not always an option. That doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from hand and wrist pain, though.

Check out this slideshow of natural remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome!

Next: Wrist Stretches

Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo via handarmdoc

carpal tunnel wrist stretch

1. Wrist Stretches

A good wrist stretch can help open up the compressed area and relieve some of that carpal tunnel discomfort. This stretch has helped me quite a bit. Here’s what you do:

  • Sitting or standing up straight, raise your arms so that they are straight out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Make fists with both hands.
  • Inhale, and when you exhale, bend your wrists, so that your fists are now pointing toward the floor. You should feel a light stretch in your forearms and your wrists. Hold for a slow count of 7.
  • On your next exhale, bring your hands back to neutral, and open your fists, spreading your fingers wide. Flex your wrists, so that you’re making a stop motion with both hands, pulling your fingers back as much as you can. You’ll feel a stretch on the underside of your wrists. Hold for another slow count of 7.
  • Repeat the steps above 10 times.

Next: Thumb Stretch

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by plaisanter~

carpal tunnel thumb stretch

2. Thumb Stretch

Is your thumb particularly affected by your carpal tunnel? Try this stretch!

  • Place your right hand on a flat surface, spreading the fingers wide.
  • With your left hand, take hold of your thumb and stretch it across, away from your pointer finger, until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for a slow count of 10.
  • Repeat on the left hand. Try to work up to 10-12 repetitions.

Next: Warrior II Pose

photo by David Striepe

warrior II

3. Warrior II Pose

Any yoga posture that involves stretching the arms out to the sides can help with carpal tunnel, and Warrior II is a great place to start!

  • Stand up straight with your legs spread out further than hip-distance apart.
  • Turn your right foot out, so the toes are facing the wall to your right, and turn your left foot in ever so slightly.
  • Bend the right knee, bringing the thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your arms, so that they are also parallel to the floor. Think about opening up your chest and pulling your shoulder blades together. You can keep your hands parallel to the floor or rotate your arms so that your hands face out, like in the photo above.
  • Turn your head to the right, and breathe. You can stay in this posture for as long as you like!
  • Repeat on the left side.

Next: Prayer Hands

photo via Thinkstock

4. Prayer Hands

Any yoga posture that includes bringing your hands into prayer position doubles as an excellent wrist stretch.

  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Bring your hands together, palms lightly touching, and lower your hands until you feel a gentle stretch in your wrist.
  • Hold for a slow count of 10.

Next: Ice It

photo via Thinkstock

ice cubes

5. Ice It

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by swelling, and ice helps reduce swelling naturally. Set aside some time each day to ice your wrist and hand for about 10 minutes. You can use a bag of frozen veggies. If it’s too cold to put directly on your skin, wrap it in a dish towel.

Some doctors also suggest alternating between ice and heat. To do this, you’ll get two buckets. Fill one with hot water and the other with ice water. Plunge your hand into the hot water for about 30 seconds, then move it to the ice water. Rotate back and forth 10-15 times.

Do you struggle with carpal tunnel syndrome? What natural remedies have helped bring you some relief?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by blmurch

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Maureen King
Maureen Kingabout a month ago

I have Carpel Tunnel.Was extremely severe in left hand,right was getting worse rapidly.Woke me at night,had to drive one hand at a time.Even reaching hand to head resulted in SEVERE pins and needles.Affected everything I did.Was driving me insane.Was scheduled for surgery.Postponed for personal reasons.Son (herbalist)put me on MSM powder (NOT with Glucosamine or Chondroitin).Doesn't cure it but no more symptoms.(Did it help my Emphysema -YOU BET IT DID) Only take it in the morning.Worked for neighbour waiting for surgery also.Interesting note,I have Hashimoto Thyroiditis -some research I have done mentions a link.Surgeon told me Acupuncture helps (absolutely) Will give these exercises a go also.Thank You.Thank You.Thank You.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 months ago

Thank you

Pamela W.
Pamela W.10 months ago

@ Harlee M.
I have ulnar neuropathy. My neurologist said a lot of people get this from driving with their left arm up in the car window. In my case it was from years of leaning on my left elbow holding my head with my hand. Did that because of suffering from migraines and I would just try to keep working holding my head. I really don't think these exercises will help with the ulnar tunnel. For me it has just helped to make more of an effort to keep from doing what caused it. Also if you sleep with your arm curled under your pillow, that will also mess up your ulnar nerve. I discovered I was doing that also. So I do have a brace to sleep in to keep the elbow straight. That has helped a good bit. But I still am working on making myself not lean on the left elbow.

Sarah Dyson
Sarah Dyson10 months ago

Mine was severe and all my neurosurgeon said was 'let's fix it.

Harlee Mahmet
Harlee Mahmet11 months ago

I have ulnar tunnel (ring and pinkie finger.) I'm going to try doing the exercises backwards. Anyone else have ulnar tunnel? Has this worked for you? My two fingers are numb right now and sometimes feel tingly. HELP!

Cosmic Sky
Cosmic Price1 years ago

Thx. I had a hand broken n have weird feelings in my hand n carpal tunnel

Cosmic Sky
Cosmic Price1 years ago


Julianna D.
Juliana D.1 years ago


Judy T.
Judy T.2 years ago

Wow! Simple and pretty effective exercises. :) Thank you!