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High-Tech Frost Bite

Discusses the prevention against carpal tunnel syndrome, a frostbite-like inflammation of fingers and wrist. Drugs prescribed to patients with the syndrome; Importance of nutrition and exercise; Vitamins most helpful against the syndrome.

Q: I've been a professional writer for the past 30 years, and suddenly myleft hand has begun to feel like It has frostbite. There's pain and numbness from my fingers down into my wrist. My doctor just shrugged, told me I have carpal tunnel syndrome, and referred me to a hand surgeon. The mere thought of surgery has me depressed. Is there any natural solution besides the knife?

A: Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a damaged nerve, which can be the result of inflammation or swelling. The most common trigger is repeated stress (which can range from constant typing to lifting weights to playing musical instruments). Symptoms Include pain, numbness, tingling, dull and aching fingers, and weakness. Patients are usually prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone. If the condition is severe enough, surgery Is often recommended.

I've had great success in treating this syndrome through nutritional intervention and exercise. However, a doctor must first rule out other underlying conditions that might be triggering the syndrome. I've seen patients with Lyme disease, thyroid disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis, whose carpal tunnel syndrome cleared up when they were properly diagnosed and treated.

In the great majority of castes, however, VITAMIN B6 can do wonders. Several studies have shown that this vitamin reduces swelling and functions as a natural analgesic. I also prescribe FISH OIL capsules, which are known to be natural anti-inflammatories, and GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE, a compound normally found in healthy cartilage and which has been shown to help arthritis sufferers. An exercise program for the hand and wrist helps strengthen and preserve wrist function as well.