Sore Subject

Practical ways to prevent—and treat—carpal tunnel syndrome.

Practical ways to prevent—and treat—carpal tunnel syndrome


They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And if you’re in a profession that demands repetitive wrist movement (such as carpentry or typing), there are a number of ways to reduce the potential for carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition characterized by inflammation between the delicate structures of the wrist.

One reason the wrist is so flexible—it’s the most versatile joint in the body—is that it’s composed of eight carpal bones that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and are bound by a series of ligaments and tendons with various nerves coursing through. When the structures of the wrist become inflamed and swollen from overuse, the swelling can cause pressure on the nerves.

Nutritional Therapies

B vitamins can be very helpful in aiding nerve healing. Whether you’re hoping to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or already have it, consider taking 1,000–5,000 mcg of B12 (I prefer the sublingual “dots”) and 50–200 mg of B6 daily for 6–12 weeks. Also, to reduce the swelling, go easy on beef, pork, and dairy for a few months because these foods are high in arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation.

Additionally, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish oil is anti-inflammatory. You can take 1,500–3,000 mg a day for 6–12 weeks.

Taking high-potency digestive enzymes (1,000–2,000 mg daily of a high-CFU-count bromelain, for example) or other proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes once or twice daily between meals can assist with breaking down cellular debris and removing injured tissue. Enzymes also help to digest food, but when you take enzymes 30 minutes before or two hours after meals, they don’t work on the food in your stomach, but instead enter the bloodstream and act as “extra” white blood cells that assist in the process of waste and tissue removal.

Good Buys ...

Nordic Naturals EPA XTRA is a concentrated omega-3 formula that includes a mega dose of EPA—and extra protection against inflammation.


Dr. Mercola Full Spectrum Enzymes feature a wide range of plant-based digestive enzymes that can help promote tissue repair and healing.


Twin lab Mega B-12 Dots dissolve quickly under the tongue for instant delivery. Each naturally cherry-flavored dot provides 5,000 mcg of B12.


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