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Essential Oils for Carpal Tunnel Relief


Fourteen years ago carpal tunnel ruined my life. I was 18 and had a music scholarship to Texas Tech. Finals week rolled around and Christmas was right around the corner. All the added stress, increased practice time, and poor diet and lifestyle led to a flare up that wouldn’t go away. I wish I knew back then that essential oils for carpal tunnel could help relieve the agony I lived for so long. I hope this information helps give you relief and knowledge on how to heal your carpal tunnel naturally.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when there is compression of the median nerve median typically at the wrist level. The main symptoms include wrist pain and hand pain (the pain intensity depends on the level of irritation).  If compressed enough will lead to numbness and/or tingling in the hand. The most common affected area for numbness is from the wrist to the fingers. Specifically to the thumb, index fingers and middle fingers (this can also lead to blood circulation problems in your hand).  If you have irritation on the little finger and ring finger it’s not carpal tunnel.

As the inflammation increases with carpal tunnel you can also start to notice forearm and elbow pain. A lot of people with carpal tunnel will mention their muscle pain in the forearm. Most will say they can feel “joint pain” at the neck, elbow, and wrist. Carpal tunnel symptoms will vary based on where your median nerve is being irritated at. This means the cause of carpal tunnel isn’t always in the wrist. If you’ve tried all the things to fix your wrist with no relief you might have to look to your elbow, shoulder or even neck.

If you have these symptoms reach out to your health care provider to be evaluated. In severe cases nerve damage can take place.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel:

The most common causes of carpal tunnel is a job or hobby that has repetitive motion, especially repetitive hand motions (ie. typing). The general population that is most effected by carpal tunnel is women! In fact, the NIH actually reported that women are three times more likely than men to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnant women have an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel goes up even more because of your fluid retention.  Fortunately if pregnancy is what caused it normally after the baby gets here it tends to resolve on it’s own.

There are other medical conditions that can increase your odds of developing carpal tunnel. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory arthritis’, and some metabolic disorders. If you have a diet high in salt, sedentary lifestyle, and smoke you also increase your chances of developing it.

The Best Essential Oils for Carpal Tunnel:

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil has great anti-inflammatory properties so it will help to decrease inflammation and pain. A recent study even showed that lavender increased the pinch grip strength in the patients that used it topically over the wrist. This is a great essential oil for carpal tunnel! https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28803691/

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint also has great anti-inflammatory agents in it. Most natural pain relief cream will actually include peppermint. Peppermint is the most popular essential oil used for all types of pain. A lot of peppermint based creams help relieve sore muscles so try it on your arm! This oil however is much stronger and can cause irritation. When applying topically, you want to use a carrier oil like sweet almond oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, almond oil, etc. I highly recommend performing a patch test before using this oil to make sure your skin doesn’t over react.

Tea Tree Oil

This oil helps to have a numbing type of effect on the body. When used topically it will decrease sensitive skin and nerves that are inflamed.

Frankincense Oil

This oil is also known for it’s anti-inflammatory characteristics. In the world of essential oils this oil is called your go to oil, because it is known to help a variety of conditions.

Eucalyptus Oil

This is oil is also considered an anti-inflammatory oil. It is also an antispasmodic oil which means it will help relieve the pain from muscle spasms. It is a very strong essential oil so it only takes a few drops of eucalyptus.

Essential Oil Blend
A wooden bowl that has purple flowers and is being mixed with different essential oils.

There are a lot of oils that have analgesic properties and anti-inflammatory properties. If you want the best analgesic effects from essential oils it would be a good idea to mix them and get your “biggest bang for your buck”. Studies have shown significant improvements in strength and pain with individual oils so mixing them helps a lot.

The blend of essential oils that helps the most is all of the ones listed above combined. You’ll take an empty clean glass bottle and mix lavender, peppermint, tea tree, frankincense and eucalyptus together with your chosen carrier oil. Shake it up and use it as often as you want.

Since they are all natural ingredients you can use this for a long time without any negative side effects. With any new oil you use the best way to make sure it is safe for you is to perform a patch test. This blend is for external use only. Some will take them orally, but if you intent to do this make sure your oils are the required grade for consumption.

Carpal Tunnel Relief

The essential oils have a lot of great benefits and they are all natural which is even better. There is scientific evidence that oils help carpal tunnel so it is great to add to your tool box, but what are some other modalities you can do to help even more?

Vitamin B

B6 specifically has been shown to help with carpal tunnel. It is a known analgesic and can also help with fluid retention.

Wrist Splint

The cockup splint is the preferred splint for carpal tunnel. The specific instructions on how to get the most benefit from these splints is to actually where them at night when you are sleeping. It helps to stabilize your wrist in the best position to open up the narrow passage in your carpal tunnel. This allows the pain and inflammation to decrease during the night so you will sleep better and wake up with less pain.

Cold Compress

Ice or cold in general works to numb the area and helps to decrease inflammation. Cold compresses can help to give you quick temporary pain relief.

Green Drinks

Your dark leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants. These are the necessary building blocks for your body to produce your own anti-inflammatory agents.

Foods Rich in B6

Adding in brown rice, avocado, and sweet potato will help to boost the B6 in your body which will help with pain and inflammation. You can also try cooking in avocado oil to increase the amount in your food as well.

Flaxseed and Chia Seeds

These seeds are high in ALA which helps to reduce pain and inflammation.

A bowl containing chia seeds, bananas, pecans and milk. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are high in your anti-inflammatory ALA
Turmeric Oil or Turmeric Pills

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Whether you cook it with your food or take a supplemented pill it can help to decrease the inflammation in your body.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

When you can it is always best to use a natural remedy to help your pain, because the risk factors of using medication goes up. However, if you are in a lot of pain NSAID’s can help a lot if your carpal tunnel is coming from an inflammatory bases.


The good news is that regular use of essential oils for carpal tunnel can be an effective treatment to relieve you of the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It uses natural means to relieve you of your carpal tunnel pain. We live in a world where natural remedies are increasingly more popular, so there are a lot of great companies you can get your oils from.

Keep in mind that these oils are a great tool to help get you out of pain, but don’t forget to treat the cause of your pain. Most patients with carpal tunnel have something going on in the joints in the neck as well as the muscles from the neck down to the hand. Getting in to a chiropractor, massage therapist, and physical therapist will help you to heal all the way around and hopefully prevent you from having surgery.

You can also read our blog on the Best effective chiropractic neck exercises and stretches to see if these stretches provide you with any relief.

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