carpal-tunnel-syndrome-medical-marijuana

Have you been suffering from hand and wrist pain? Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the leading causes of this type of pain. The sooner that you get diagnosed the better chance you have of treating this condition without surgery.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the hands and fingers, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. It’s caused by pressure on the median nerve, a major nerve in the hand, and travels through the wrist. 

The pressure on the median nerve can potentially lead to nerve damage, and symptoms will get worse. In order to prevent permanent damage, the pressure will need to be removed from the median nerve, and oftentimes this will require surgery. 

Over time carpal tunnel syndrome will get worse, and this is why early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Many people get carpal tunnel from typing but the common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by a variety of factors. These risk factors include,

Health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance

Repetitive motion activities for a prolonged period of time will aggravate the tendons and cause swelling. This swelling puts pressure on the nerve and leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Heredity can be a significant factor. Some people are born with a carpal tunnel that is smaller, leaving less space for the nerve.

Hand and wrist position when performing certain activities for a prolonged amount of time. Activities that involve extreme flexion or extension of the hand and wrist can increase pressure on the nerve.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome often begin gradually and are often felt off and on. This is why most people don’t get diagnosed until the condition is no longer treatable. 

There are a variety of symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common symptom is numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers.

Some of the other symptoms include,

  • Pain or tingling that travels up the forearm towards the shoulder.
  • Difficulty performing fine movements due to weakness and clumsiness in the hand.
  • A shock-like sensation that radiates to the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers. 
  • Weakness, numbness, or a loss of proprioception causes you to drop things.

Symptoms often feel worse at night because most people sleep with their wrists bent, and the pain and discomfort will likely wake you up out of your sleep. You can experience symptoms when holding something for an extended period of time with activities that include repetitive motion, such as using a phone, reading a book, or driving. 

The best treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you can alleviate the symptoms with rest and abstinence from the activities that are aggravating it. Some of the best treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome besides rest include,

  • Wearing a wrist splint at night for at least four weeks
  • Performing exercises for the hand and wrist 
  • Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Using cold packs to control the swelling
  • Using alternative therapies – yoga, acupuncture, or chiropractic treatment
  • Applying CBD creams to the wrist and hand.

Patients who do not respond to the above treatments might need steroid injections to reduce the inflammation and relieve the pressure. Or another option is surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, and surgery is often the last resort. 

How to prevent carpal tunnel

In order to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll need to make lifestyle changes. These changes will reduce the risk factors of developing it. These changes include reducing and avoiding the activities that overextend your wrist, paying attention to your hand posture, and treating health conditions that increase your risk of developing it.  

You can learn more about how to prevent carpal tunnel by discussing your symptoms with your doctor.

How can medical marijuana help carpal tunnel syndrome?

Medical marijuana treats carpal tunnel syndrome by reducing the inflammation in soft tissues, which helps to control the pain associated with the condition. Its’ been used for decades for nerve damage and pain, both of these things are related to carpal tunnel syndrome.

One of the most common treatments is NSAIDs or corticosteroids to treat the pain associated with carpal tunnel. Unfortunately, both of these have a ton of side effects, including but not limited to weight gain and easy bruising. Using medical marijuana reduces these side effects while providing you with the relief you need. 

Here are just some of the benefits of medical marijuana,

  • It reduces chronic pain 
  • Improves your peripheral neuropathy symptoms 
  • Your sleep pattern will improve

What are the best strains for carpal tunnel syndrome

There are a variety of strains of medical marijuana – blue dream, northern lights, purple kush, cannatonic, charlotte's web, and many others. All of these strains stem from two main strains Indica and Sativa. 

Indica has higher levels of CBD and provides you with a more relaxing feeling without a feeling of being high. This strain is often best for inflammation and controlling pain.

Sativa has higher levels of THC and provides a more energizing feeling but gives you a head high. 

The truth is it’s a personal choice since both strains contain both CBD and THC. 

How can I get a medical card?

If you’ve been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, finding relief is important. It's easy to obtain your medical marijuana card when you know the right steps. 

The steps are similar in most states that have legalized medical marijuana. You’ll need to get your medical condition qualified by a cannabis doctor. At Elevate Holistics we’ve partnered with doctors and dispensaries across the country. We can help you find a doctor to begin the certification process or schedule an in-home appointment through our telehealth services.

Once you’ve been certified you can apply for a medical card. How you do this will change depending on which state you live in. If approved you can find a local dispensary on our interactive map and begin benefiting from the use of cannabis.