How RICE and MEAT Can Cure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!


By: Tracey Minella


Driven to distraction by the pain in your wrist, palm or forearm? Or the numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand and fingers?   Is it keeping you up at night too?

Then you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).


Look at your wrist.  Imagine that the bones and ligaments around your wrist form a tunnel between your forearm and hand.  Now picture your nerves running-- like cables-- through that tunnel, bringing function and sensation to your hand and fingers. CTS occurs when there is a disruption when your “median nerve”--the nerve that brings sensation and motor impulses to your thumb, index and middle fingers-- becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist.


Whether you’re working or playing, repetitive movements of the hand, wrist or fingers, can cause CTS. Carpal Tunnel can also result from an injury to the wrist or an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, or thyroid gland imbalance.  Often, CTS may be caused by a congenital predisposition—you may have been born with a narrow carpal tunnel.


The good news: CTS is treatable.  If you think you may have CTS, see your doctor.  By treating any underlying medical condition, she may be able to resolve your CTS symptoms.


Otherwise, how do you spell relief from CTS? R.I.C.E! And it has nothing to do with diet. It stands for:


  • Rest the wrist--avoid activities which irritate it.


  • Ice the area to reduce pain and inflammation.


  • Compress and immobilize the wrist with a splint.


  • Elevate the hand when possible.


Need something more substantial?  Try M.E.A.T!


No, still not talking about diet.  M.E.A.T classifies non-surgical options:


  • Medicine: Anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation or block the sensation of pain.


  • Exercise: Stretching and strengthening exercises under the guidance of a physical or occupational therapist.



  • Alternative Therapies: Yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, vitamin B6 therapy, enzyme supplements, and body movement re-education therapies offer more holistic approaches.


If symptoms remain after six months, you may need surgery to prevent permanent nerve damage. Relief can be rapid, but full recovery may take months.  Surgically-corrected CTS rarely recurs.


So there is light at the end of the tunnel for carpal sufferers.