Medical cannabis can serve as an effective treatment alternative for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Medical cannabis’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can provide carpal tunnel syndrome patients with substantial symptom relief.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Each hand has a narrow bone and ligament passageway at the base of it. This passageway is the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel holds tendons that provide the fingers with the ability to bend.
The carpal tunnel also holds the median nerve which controls a few minor muscles at the thumbs base. It also provides sensation to the hand, specifically the palm part of the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
When this median nerve is pressed at the wrist, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs. This compressing of the median nerve can happen due to irritated and inflamed tendons that cause the passageway to become more narrow.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs several uncomfortable symptoms ensue including:
- burning in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
- pain in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
- tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
- numbness in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
- wrist numbness
- wrist pain
- weakness in the hand leading to difficulty performing daily tasks that require fine movements
- proprioception loss
- Pain and tingling radiating to the forearm and shoulder
Additionally, people suffering from carpal tunnel median nerve compression may experience occasional shock-like sensations radiating throughout the hand.
The onset of the above symptoms can be slow and tend to come and go at the early stages of the condition.
Symptoms are also frequently experienced at night in carpal tunnel syndrome patients. This may lead to difficulty sleeping.
Symptoms can also become aggravated when one is doing an activity that requires long periods of bending the wrists. This includes simple and daily activities like reading.
When the median nerve becomes more compressed, symptoms become more severe, long-lasting, and frequent.
Mental Effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The pain and discomfort carpal tunnel patients experience can have a negative impact on their mental and emotional state. Difficulty sleeping and performing tasks can lead to decreased productivity.
Decreased productivity can have a drastic impact on a patient. All these things combined can lead to low self-esteem, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments
The primary purpose of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment is to relieve pain and improve function while preventing nerve damage and weakening of the muscles in the fingers and hand.
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Wrist Splinting
- NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Endoscopic Surgery
- Open Surgery
NSAIDs and corticosteroids have severe side effects and risks.
Though NSAIDs are effective in reducing inflammation, patients develop a tolerance to them when they’re taken frequently. The same thing occurs with prescription pain medications.
There are also several risks involved in the surgeries including scarring, nerve injury, incomplete ligament release, as well as the possibility of wounds becoming infected.
Physicians choose the appropriate treatment based on the carpal tunnel syndrome case’s severity. Whether or not nerve damage is present also informs physicians on what treatment method to administer.
How can cannabis help?
Medical cannabis can serve as an effective and natural treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Conventional treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome are addictive and have debilitating side-effects, whereas medical cannabis is not addictive and has very few side effects. All of which are minor and temporary.
Patients tend to develop a tolerance to commonly used carpal tunnel medications. This leads to physicians prescribing stronger drugs. These drugs can have debilitating side effects like the softening of bones.
Then physicians end up having to prescribe patients with additional medications to address and treat the carpal tunnel medication’s side-effects. This does not occur with medical cannabis treatment.
Medical cannabis can help with the following carpal tunnel symptoms.
- nerve pain
- joint and bone pain
- chronic pain
- nerve damage
- difficulty sleeping
Best Strains for carpal tunnel syndrome
Different cannabis strains are effective for treating different symptoms. Strains that have been known to effectively treat some of carpal tunnel syndrome’s symptoms are listed below.
Strains for pain relief
- Blackberry Kush
- Girl Scout Cookies
Strains for nausea relief
- Durban Poison
- Northern Lights
- Blue Dream
- Blueberry Diesel
Strains for reducing inflammation
- Blue Widow
- Green Crack
Strains that aid with sleep
- Granddaddy Purple
- Afghan Kush
- Northern Lights
- Tahoe OG Kush
When beginning medical cannabis treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, a physician will provide the necessary guidance on what cannabis strains and administration methods are best for a particular patient’s specific needs.
Medical cannabis is a natural and non-addictive treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome that provides effective symptom relief.