Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also called as CTS, causes pain in the wrist which is due to the pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Carpals are the bones that constitute the wrist and the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway made of bones and connective tissue on the inside of the palm. The median nerve is one of the 5 main nerves which extends from the lower part of the neck and controls the movement and sensation of the muscles of arm, forearm and hand. The condition of CTS occurs when the median nerve is compressed due to the narrowing of the carpal tunnel which may be due to swelling or degeneration of the tendons passing through it.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Wrist pain that may extends to elbows or shoulder
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in all finger except the little finger
  • Reduced finger coordination and movement
  • Increased pain at night
  • Muscular weakness

Risk factors for CTS

  • Wrist fracture
  • Overuse of wrist joint when using computer or playing piano, etc.
  • Some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, thyroid issues, kidney problems, etc.

Ayurvedic Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ayurveda regards the vitiation of Vata to be the root cause of conditions with characteristics like pain, numbness etc. And hence, the Ayurvedic management of CTS aims to address the vitiated Vata dosha through a holistic approach with therapies, medications, lifestyle recommendations, yoga and exercises.

Ayurvedic therapies recommended for the condition,

  • Abhyanga – Ayurvedic massage with medicated oils help relieve pain, numbness and tingling sensation, while also providing a soothing effect.
  • Swedana – Fomentation or sweating using medicated vapours is recommended for managing the condition with Vata and Kapha involved.
  • Patra Pinda Sweda and Shashtika Shali Pinda Sweda are also advised for managing Vata symptoms like pain and numbness.
  • Churna Pinda Sweda – Fomentation using boluses of herbal powders are performed when Kapha symptoms like stiffness and swelling are predominant.
  • Dhara – Different types of the therapy which include Kashaya Dhara, Taila Dhara and Dhanyamala Dhara are advised for Vata and Kapha predominant symptoms.
  • Greeva Vasti – The process of retaining medicated oils on the cervical spine is recommended for soothing the nerves whose branches control the upper limb including hands, wrist and fingers.

Internal medications prescribed under consultation include,

  • Oils or Taila – Ksheerabala taila, Mahanarayana taila, Maha Masha taila, etc.
  • Herbal decoctions or Kashayam – Rasnaerandadi kashayam, maharasnadi kashayam, Punarnavadi kashayam, etc.
  • Herbal fermented liquids or Arishtas – Ashwagandharishtam, Dhanwantararishtam, Punarnavasavam, etc.