Carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem with the nerves of the hand. It happens when the median nerve gets squeezed inside a thin passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. This nerve gives feeling to the thumb, index, and middle fingers, and half the ring finger. This causes tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand. It can cause you to lose your grip and drop things.
It is treated with activity changes, wrist splint, and drugs. Surgery may be done if symptoms are severe. Some people look to natural treatments to help ease symptoms.
Possibly Effective / Possibly Not Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or pills you are taking. Some may get in the way of your treatment or other health problems you may have.
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D1. O’Connor D, Marshall S, et al. Non-surgical treatment (other than steroid injection) for carpal tunnel syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1): CD003219.
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Low Level Laser Therapy
E1. Rankin IA, Sargeant H, Rehman H, Gurusamy KS. Low-level laser therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD012765
E2. Bekhet AH, Ragab B, Abushouk AI, Elgebaly A, Ali OI. Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in carpal tunnel syndrome management: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Aug;32(6):1439-1448.
E3. Burger M, Kriel R, Damon A, Abel A, Bansda A, Wakens M, Ernstzen D. The
effectiveness of low-level laser therapy on pain, self-reported hand function, and grip strength compared to placebo or "sham" treatment for adults with carpal tunnel syndrome: A systematic review. Physiother Theory Pract. 2017 Mar;33(3):184-197.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
Last Updated: 3/2/2019