Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

About the Disorder

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most frequently occurring neuropathies, mostly widespread among women aged over 40. The carpal tunnel is a duct located at the level of the wrist, in which three sides are formed by the carpal bones and the fourth, of the palm, consists in a retinaculum of flexors and transveral ligament of the carpus. This tunnel therefore hosts all structures coming from the forearm, necessary for the hand: the nerves, tendons and blood vessels.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome originates when the median nerve, connecting the hand with the brain and therefore enabling finger movements, perception of pain and of the temperature, as well as controlling perspiration of the palm, is compressed inside the carpal tunnel. Causes leading to this compression are to be found in job-related activities (repeated movements, which are prolonged for many hours, incorrect posture of shoulders and arms, use of computer mouse and keyboard), as well as in traumatic events (injuries and distorsions).

Problems that can be associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are to be traced both at systemic level, as well as in certain physiological conditions, for instance diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis amyloidosis,hypothyroidism, acromegaly, high pressure, renal failure, fungal infections, pregnancies, use of oral contraceptives, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, arthritis and deforming arthrosis, etc. Following one or more of these causes, a rise in pressure inside the carpal tunnel takes place that, together with an elongation of tendons and nerves, leads to the onset of an inflammation (tenosynovitis) of the flexor tendon bursa. The carpal tunnel’s dimensions diminish and the median nerve is compressed.

Typical symptoms start with burning and tingling in the hand, particularly at the level of the first three fingers. As the disorders progresses, it also causes numbness and swelling of the hand and pain,  increasing particularly at night and in the mornings, symptoms that can extend up to the elbow. If neglected, this chronic inflammation can lead to a loss of sensitivity in the fingers and weakening of the whole hand.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with conventional medicine

In case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as for tendinitis in general, conventional medicine resorts to anti-inflammatory medicines, administered in the form of topical applications (creams, gel, bandages soaked in a pharmacological solution), but also tablets, granulates up to local injections in the most serious cases. Anti-inflammatory medicines, though often useful in bringing relief from pain, are, however, responsible for a long series of side-effects, all the more serious according to the length of intake period.

Such side effects are essentially linked to the fact that the anti-inflammatory activity is carried out owing to a sole active principle which, not being selective, in addition to promoting the primary pharmacological activity (by reducing inflammation and pain), ends up altering several physiological mechanisms, leading to countless secondary activities. Among these medicines it is possible to identify two large groups: steroidal anti-inflammatories (cortisone-based medicines) and non steroidal anti-inflammatories, better known as “NSAIMs” (an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines).

Among the side-effects of cortisone-based medicines, which are very strong anti-inflammatories with immunosuppresant activities: in low dosages, glaucoma, intracranial hypertension, bowel perforation, gastric ulcer, gastric hemorrhage; at medium dosages: myopathy, increased blood pressure, diabetes, cataract; at high dosages, hyperglycemia, water retention, weight gain, growth retardation, osteoporosis, gastric ulcer and reduced immune defenses. Alternatively, patients resort to non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMs, an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines), for instance those containing active principles such as acetyl salicylic acid, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, nimesulide, etc., widely recommended medicines that act by inhibiting synthesis of chemical mediators called “prostaglandins”:  such action is at the origin of both pharmacological activity and numerous side-effects.

To comprehend just how this is possible it must be borne in mind that prostaglandins carry out multiple organic functions: there are, in fact, “bad” prostaglandins (though it is not technically correct to call them this way) as they cause the insurgence of inflammation, hyperalgesia, fever; but there are also “good” prostaglandins, carrying out multiple physiological activities: they promote protection of the stomach from gastric juices, they regulate renal blood flow, uterine contractions, platelet activity, etc.

That being said, it is clear that use of so-called NSAIMs, often turning into an “abuse” given their being easy to retrieve, is inevitably connected to several side-effects. Examples thereof are: inhibition of gastric protection, with consequences ranging from simple irritations to lesions, ulcera and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, inhibition of platelet aggregation, renal ischaemia, generic nephropathy and renal failure, etc.

In the most serious cases, when serious damage to the median nerve is diagnosed, surgical intervention is required, which involves severing of structures compressing the nerve, particularly the ligament lying above it, so as to restore the hand’s original functionality. Most patients undergoing surgery solve the problem of the syndrome; yet, rehabilitation following the operation is surely not a short process (requiring even several months); rigidity in movements can remain unvaried, with additional risk of infections.

This is why it is important to have available a valid, natural alternative, capable of providing relief in case of painful symptoms and rigidity connected to the problem of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, while being totally free from side-effects even if taken for prolonged periods of time.

Nature can help you in the case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

In order to counter typical symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, day by day, such as inflammation, pain, numbness and swelling, avoiding synthetic anti-inflammatory medicines or surgical intervention, nature can finally offer valuable help, thanks to the use of an exclusive formulation based on a selection of plant ingredients with markedly anti-inflammatory properties. First and foremost among these is BIOSTERINE®, a unique and innovative phytocompound, consisting in 80% Ocimum sanctum (Basilico santo) extract and 20% Salvia officinalis extract, characterized by an extremely high titration in Rosmarinic Acid (40%), obtained through a particular extraction process developed by Prodeco Pharma.

BIOSTERINE® and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

BIOSTERINE® not only combines the recognized, anti-inflammatory properties of phytocomplexes contained in Holy Basil and Salvia Officinalis, but actually amplifies and reinforces them, thanks to the high concentration of Rosmarinic Acid. Numerous studies have, in fact, confirmed the extraordinary properties of Rosmarinic Acid as an anti-inflammatory, investigating its potential mechanisms of action.

Rosmarinic Acid’s ability to inhibit inflammatory processes linked to the “complement system” (part of the immune system involved in the inflammatory process); besides this specific mechanism of action, considered to be primarily responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of Rosmarinic Acid, it also acts by regulating cyclooxygenase, modulating the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins (it has been pointed out that Rosmarinic acid contained in Ocimum sanctum exerts a 58% inhibiting action on cyclooxygenase).

 The inflammatory efficacy of Ocimum sanctum extracts has turned out to be comparable with that of ibuprofen, of naproxen and of acetylsalicylic acid, yet without any side effects: the presence, in the phytocomplex, of other active constituents, in fact, enables the harmonization and modulation of the inflammatory action, with the typical harmful effects reported on synthetic medicines.

 This discovery confirms traditionally used Ocimum sanctum as a safe, reliable and effective anti-inflammatory. The action of rosmarinic acid is also exerted through inhibition of hyaluronidase, an enzyme that is responsible for the degradation of hyaluronic acid, essential for the integrity of connective tissues, in particular cartilages. These properties in particular confer rosmarinic acid with a protective role of tissues, mostly joint tissues, and combines well with its anti-inflammatory substances.

 Due to the above-mentioned considerations, in association with specific plant extracts, BIOSTERINE® therefore represents the cornerstone of

a natural approach to eliminate inflammation and pain, day by day, alleviating typical symptoms connected to the problem of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, yet without any side-effects, even when taken for extended periods of time.

Nature can help you with…

BIOSTERINE®: as already highlighted, with its powerful health properties as an anti-inflammatory, BIOSTERINE® represents the starting point of our approach. Taken systemically, BIOSTERINE® exerts a marked anti-inflammatory action and reduces phlogosis of tissues affected. Its association with other specific, natural principles, make it possible to reach even more remarkable results.

Boswellia extract possesses recognised anti-inflammatory properties and is particularly effective in painful pathologies affecting the musculo-skeletal apparatus. Its activity is attributable to the presence, in its phytocomplex, of particular compounds called boswellic acids. Numerous clinical studies have confirmed its efficacy, comparable to synthetic medicines, yet without causing any side-effects whatsoever.

The idea of including in the formulation both the dry extract with high titration in boswellic acids (75%) as well as the powder of the whole plant has proven to be a successful one. In fact, this association enables to obtain, on the one hand, adequate supply of the “nobler” forms of active constituents (boswellic acids), ensuring efficacy; on the other it makes it possible to obtain the presence of the entire phytocomplex, for a synergistic and, at the same time, “smoother” effect on the organism, thereby ensuring that the product will be totally  free from side-effects also in the long run.

Turmeric: turmeric is used in phytotherapy for the treatment of several pathologies involving inflammations, including ostheoarthritis. Its anti-inflammatory action is attributable to the presence of particular substances called curcuminoids. Research has pointed out that the efficacy of turmeric extract is linked to its activity on several physiological mechanisms involved in the inflammatory process.

Turmeric therefore acts on the inflammation with a 360° mechanism, without causing any side-effect whatsoever. Some of the fundamental mechanisms involved are as follows:

  1. a) inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 and lipoxygenase enzymes, with a resulting reduced production of prostaglandins and other inflammatory chemical mediators;
  2. b) inhibition of the release of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines and interleukins;
  3. c) inhibition of the production of cell adhesion molecules involved in the early phase of the inflammatory cascade,
  4. d) inhibition of the collagen degradation. The idea of including in the formulation both the dry extract, with high titration in curcuminoids (95%), as well as the powder of the entire plant has been a successful one: in fact, this association ensures maximum efficacy and lack of any side-effect whatsoever.

 Hyaluronic Acid: its physiological function is to maintain the right level of hydration in connective tissues. It moreover acts as a cementing substance and as a kind of shock absorbing molecule, as well as being an efficient lubricant (synovial fluid/joints), preventing tissue damage. Its function is therefore fundamental to ensure good health and functionality of skeletal tissues and of the joints.

For this reason, Hyaluronic Acid has been used since it was first discovered to treat joint disorders. Besides the excellent results obtained following its use in intra-articular infiltrations, it has recently been studied to verify its efficacy for oral intake.

Regarding the formulation, Hyaluronic Acid is therefore used in association with Biosterine®, Boswellia and Turmeric, to complete the anti-inflammatory activity of the product. Another activity of Hyaluronic acid has recently been identified, making it particularly useful within the formulation: as a carrier of active molecules to increase bioavailability, once ingested and hydrated, Hyaluronic Acid forms a bioadhesive matrix bringing the active constituents into the solution and promoting their gradual release, saturating the mucosa and increasing contact time between active constituents and the intestinal mucosa itself.

 It therefore ensures complete absorption of all constituents present in the phytocomplexes included (Biosterine®, Boswellia e Curcuma), optimizing their bioavailability and enhancing their efficacy.

The ideal form of intake of such plant ingredients is represented by swallowable tablets.

Lifestyle

Nutritional lifestyle adopted has a significant impact on all muscular-skeletal inflammatory problems. Even though often triggered by “postural factors”, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is no exception. Eliminating, or at least reducing foodstuffs that accentuate the chronic inflammatory state of the organism can lead to remarkable benefits. In fact, certain foodstuffs act on our organism with a “pro-inflammatory” mechanism, contributing not only to trigger but to aggravate painful-inflammatory symptoms characterizing such disorders.

Primarily responsible in this sense are foodstuffs of animal origin, with the exception of fish (which, on the contrary, being rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, exerts an ant-inflammatory action); meat (in particular red meat) and eggs, instead are rich in arachidonic acid, a precurosor of numerous inflammatory mediators which are produced, in the so-called “inflammatory cascade”, by the activity of cyclo-oxygenase and lipo-oxygenase enzymes.

However, the foodstuff mostly responsible for the insurgence of many inflammatory diseases, whether chronic or acute, is undoubtedly milk, together with all its derivatives. It is now certain that milk favours the increase of intestinal permeability and the introduction in the bloodstream of proteins – particularly casein, which trigger in the organism an immune stimulation, causing sensitization and a defensive, inflammatory response.

There is countless clinical evidence, as highlighted, for instance, in the book “Il mal di latte” (Milk sick) by Lorenzo Acerra (Marco ed.), mentioning cases in which arthritic patients, or subjects suffering from other kinds of muscular-skeletal problems, have improved their condition following the adoption of a diet that eliminated milk and dairy products; by contrast, reintroducing milk has led to the reappearance of symptoms.

In a natural approach aimed at solving osteo-articular and/or muscular problems, it is impossible not to recommend eliminating milk and its derivatives from the diet, as well as reducing consumption of animal proteins.

 As a matter of fact, it is important to always remember that it is only by adopting a correct diet that the course of an illness can be changed, reducing the intensity and number of physical ailments present, extending periods of well-being and reducing relapse phases .

In brief, the following dietary programme is recommended:

 FOODS TO AVOID

  • Simple sugars (white sugar, glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose, sorbitol, mannitol, lactose, galactose, maple juice, agave juice, honey, molasses)
    • Milk and dairy products
    • Packaged, preserved, refined food and drinks
    • Foods to which you are intolerant or allergic
    • Red meat

FOODS TO CONSUME WITH CAUTION

  • Refined cereals (white bread, pasta and glazed rice)
    • Whole cane sugar (only if necessary)
    • White meat and eggs (organic)

RECOMMENDED FOODS

  • Foods rich in fibres (preferably seasonal vegetables and legumes)
    • Seasonal fruit
    • Whole grain cereals and pasta (kamut, spelt, rye, oats, etc.)
    • Bluefish
    • Oleaginous seeds (nuts, almonds, sesame, sunflower)
    • Linseed and olive oil from first cold pressing

WATER

Drink at least two litres of water daily, at ambient temperature and away from meals, choosing water with fixed residue levels below 50 mg/L and with pH lying between 6 and 7.