Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – A Secondary Effect

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome to develop? Although there are many professional opinions out there regarding the subject, most do not provide an accurate description of how carpal tunnel syndrome actually occurs.

What is agreed upon is the fact that the flexor tendons and median nerve are operating in a much smaller space than they were prior to the onset of symptoms. Many professionals state that it is the swelling of the implied tissues that is diminishing the space and others say that is caused by a muscle imbalance between the flexor and extensor muscles that is causing the carpal bones to shift into the carpal tunnel, making the carpal tunnel much smaller.

After much research, my opinion is that the swapping is a “secondary effect” of the nine flexor tendons and median nerve having to glide through the carpal tunnel which has decreased in size due to a muscle imbalance *.

How does the carpal tunnel decrease in size? The carpal tunnel decreases in size because the flexor muscles that 'close' the hands are exercised on a daily basis with virtually every activity we perform, and they become stronger, shorter and tighter than the extensor muscles that 'open' the hands, causing causing the carpal bones to shift inward, collapsing the carpal tunnel and making it smaller. As the tendons and median nerve slide back and forth in the much smaller space, friction between the tissues occurs.

What does friction in the carpal tunnel cause? Friction between flexor tendons and median nerve within the carpal tunnel causes inflammation and swelling, which puts pressure on the median nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. This is the reason that surgeons sever the carpal ligament, making more room for the flexor tendons and median nerve to move around in. If the carpal tunnel is returned back to its original size, prior to onset of symptoms, the friction and swelling is eliminated and the symptoms disappear.

Continually performing repetitive wrist and finger flexion while symptoms are already present will extremely aggravate the existing condition even more and lead to possible irreversible damage of the flexor tendons, blood vessels and median nerve within the carpal tunnel.

How can carpal tunnel syndrome be eliminated? By stretching and lengthening the overly restrictive flexor muscles that 'close' the hands and strengthening and shortening the extensor muscles that 'open' the hands, the carpal tunnel can return to its normal size, decreasing impingement of the tendons and median nerve, which also eliminates friction and causes the carpal tunnel symptoms to disappear.

Now is the time to take the steps to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or rehabilitate an existing injury by starting a stretch / exercise program for your hands. Speak with your doctor or contact a certified therapist today to implement a good stretch and exercise program to keep you strong, healthy and injury-free!

* REFERENCE MATERIALS:

“If certain muscle groups are underused, opposing muscle groups will be overused. Muscles in either a prolonged or reduced position will be at a mechanical disadvantage and weak. produces a self perpetuating condition that accommodates the abnormal posture and muscle imbalance. ” Philip E. Higgs, MD and Susan E. Mackinnon, MD Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Louis, Missouri. Annu. Rev. Med. 1995. 46: 1-16

“Muscle balance must be restored with specific exercises. Otherwise, the already strong and overused muscles get stronger, and the weaker and underused muscles remain weak. muscles. ” Philip E. Higgs, MD and Susan E. Mackinnon, MD Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Louis, Missouri. Annu. Rev. Med. 1995. 46: 1-16

“All of the extrinsic hand muscles became involved in a power grip, in proportion to the strength of the grip.” …….. “Strong agonist-antagonist interactions are needed between the flexors and extensors of the hand and fingers to produce forceful hand-grip. “” Strong flexion of the distal phalanges requires strong activity also of the finger extensors. ” Janet G. Travell, MD and David G. Simons, MD Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction-The Trigger Point Manual. Volume1 Upper Extremites, Ch: 35, pg. 501. Copyright 1983.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Damaging US Economy

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI's) like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are costing consumers, private business and insurance companies more than $ 100 billion in lost revenue each year.

According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, “Musculoskeletal disorders are the country's most costly category of workplace injuries and illnesses.” In addition to spending $ 20 billion annually on workers' compensation costs due to RSIs (Like Carpal tunnel syndrome), the US spends another $ 100 billion on lost productivity, employee turnover, and other indirect expenses.

The goal of every private business and insurance company should be to cut costs, and this goal can only be met when carpal tunnel syndrome and other “tunnel syndrome” disorders are addressed in a scope of “prevention” rather than after the fact and have to address the injury through “rehabilitation” methods. Rehabilitation costs to businesses and insurance companies are much greater than costs associated with prevention, and has an even higher toll on the individual afflicted with the disorder (carpal tunnel) in terms of both psychological and physical damages.

The key to cutting costs associated with CTS and RSI's is “prevention”, which can be achieved through a variety of methods. By implementing the methods listed below, overall costs can be reduced dramatically and optimum health and productivity of the individual can be maintained.

Job Rotation: Individuals that rotate tasks, including the amount of force they utilize for each task and the amount of time each task is performed reveals a great reduction in the level of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries.

Stretch / Exercise Breaks: Taking a short break every 30-45 minutes is key to decreasing the onset of repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. The most important prevention element on this list is to perform appropriate exercises and stretches to improve circulation and keep the muscles in tune and balanced. (For a good list of stretches and exercises, speak to the employee health director or to a certified therapist)

Workstation: Operating in the correct environment is “key” to reducing the possibility of getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Proper seating, a good keyboard, computer screen, mouse, desk set-up, positioning, etc. is critical to reducing the amount of strain experienced on a daily basis.

Tools: When using tools for assembly and construction, you must be sure that they are properly designed to fit you, not someone else.

To save as much money as possible for everyone involved, it is wise to implement as many of the elements listed above. By addressing all angles conceivable, the chances of an injury reduce dramatically and workers stay healthy. When workers are healthy, productivity and output increase, reducing healthcare costs and increasing the bottom line for all.

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Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome without Surgery

Millions of Americans suffer from the pain and disability of carpal tunnel syndrome. Most do not know that conservative measures provide relief in the majority of cases.

Almost all people with the pain, numbness and weakness in the hands and wrists can be helped with manual medicine. The osteopath evaluates the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles first for any abnormality. Next is a structural exam to check for decreased range of motion of the wrist and hand. This is almost always abnormal. By opening up the canal where the median nerve and blood vessel travels, more oxygen can get to the tissue. Stretching the ligament that crosses transversely at the wrist also releases the joint and decrees pain and swelling. This is all part of osteopathic manipulative therapy.

The DO may also check lab work for hypothyroidism or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you have a job involving repetitive motion or a large amount of computer work he / she will look at your mechanics and make suggestions. Less stress and better positioning of the wrist increases its strength and flexibility. A nutritional approach has shown 50 mg. of B6 to be effective in some cases. Of course traditional methods of splints, anti-inflammatory drugs, and exercises are also used.

Surgery and further testing of the nerves and muscles may be necessary if you do not improve with conservative measures. Shrinking of the muscles of the thumb or coldness of the tips of the fingers are serious findings.

References:

1. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 1993; 93:92.
2. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1994; 94: 647.

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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then maybe you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: do you experience tingling of your thumb? How about your index, middle, and ring fingers? Are you always awakened by pain during the night? Does the pain go away by moving, shaking, or massaging such hand? Does the pain sometimes extend to the arm and the shoulder? Do you have numbness? Are there times when you feel uncomfortable using your hands you feel that your dexterity is lost?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the condition which affects the wrist and the hand of the patient. It involves a space in the wrist that is surrounded by bones and a rigid ligament. Such space is called the carpal tunnel.

The muscles and tendons are brought into action by moving the wrist and the finger. It is important that the tendons are lubricated to ensure optimal functioning. If the tendons are not lubricated, friction exists between the tendon and the tendon sheath which leads to swelling in that area. The inflammation damages the median nerve by causing formation of fibrous tissue which thickens the sheath and limits tendon movement.

The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is common. Symptoms of the disorder were noted in 614 out of 982 supermarket checkers in one survey, and 52 in 700 employees of an electronic manufacturing plant. 117 in 788 meat handlers had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. A survey showed that an average of 65 carpal tunnel operations have been performed by 400 American hand surgeons each year.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is usually seen in individuals who do a lot of repetitive hand movements, strong and tight gripping, vibration, and which job entails that they undergo mechanical stress on their palm. Awkward hand positions will also predispose one to develop the disorder.

Those occupations that are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome are as follows: cashiers, typists, knitters, cloth sewers and hairdressers. Those who work in the bakery who always do repetitive flexing-extending wrist movement while kneading may also develop the disorder promptly, along with those whose job entails them use a spray paint gun for hours and other vibrating hand tools.

The disorder has been associated with several diseases. These include arthritis, tendon sheath tumors, hypothyroidism, gout, and Diabetes Mellitus. Wrist dislocations and fractures are also risk factors to developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The prolonged use of oral contraceptive pills has been associated with increased risk for CTS, as well as menopause and pregnancy. These diseases and physiological events supposedly increase the risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because they cause the swapping of the structures inside the carpal tunnel which compresses the median nerve.

Some anatomical variations such as the size and shape of the wrist may also increase the risk of getting CTS. Some symptoms experienced by patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome present with weakness of the hand, making it hard to use the hand in pinching or grasping. Dry skin may also be experienced.

Evaluating carpal tunnel syndrome always starts with evaluating the risk that the person's job has with CTS. The physician will ask about the patient's employment, what goes on in a typical day's work, and the frequency and regularity of the tasks the patient performs at work.

The physicist will perform physical examination called the Tinel's test and Phalen's test. In performing the Tinel's test, the doctor will tap the wrist of the patient in the median nerve area and if the maneuver will result in tingling of the finger, it indicates damage to the median nerve. The Phalen's test is when the patient bends the wrist for a minute and he feet finger tingling. These two tests will help the physician greatly in the evaluation and diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. This will also help the physician to evaluate if the patient needs surgery for the carpal tunnel syndrome.

The physician may also order for electromyography to measure how fast the median nerve transmits messages to muscles. This is a good indication of the status of the median nerve.

If you think that you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is best to seek consult from a qualified physician to evaluate the disorder.

There are other risks as you sit in front of that computer but it would be to much to write about in this article, so if you would like to learn more about other risks such as:

Eye strain

RSI (Repetitive Stress Syndrome)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Constant Head Aches

Dizziness

Breathing Problems

Difficulty Concentrating

You can learn all about this in the book: “The Painless PC”

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment – Cold Pack Therapy

Before we discuss carpal tunnel syndrome treatment it is first important to learn how this condition occurs. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage of both bone and ligaments in your wrist. The median nerve passes through this passage. For most people there is never a problem with this nerve passing through this small tunnel. However, continuous wrist and hand movement puts stress on the tendons, and may even cause them to swell. This swapping logically limits the space in the tunnel and can ever put pressure on the median nerve. The pressure has the undesired effects of numbness, pain and limited movement. There are many activities that contribute to these overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries are very common in occupations that include keyboarding, playing musical instruments or even workers on an assembly line. It is the repetition with the hand and wrist that poses itself to this sort of inflammation and discomfort. The most common form manifests itself in the wrist. Additional symptoms include pain, weakness, burning, numbness or even tingling in the hand. If you are experiencing any of these feelings then you need carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The good news is that there is help that you can do from home as long as your pain and discomfort are only moderate. This moderate discomfort accounts for the vast majority of all cases. However, without a lifestyle change and any treatment your pain and mobility can progress to severe. For more severe cases you will need to consider surgery or even physical therapy treatment.

For moderate cases cold pack therapy will provide just the relief you need. Gel ice packs will not only lessen the pain they will also help reduce the swelling and pressure on the median nerve and provide immediate, temporary relief around the wrist. Of course this form of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment must be applied appropriately. We recommend applying cold therapy in 10 to 20 minute increments. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. This can not only cause pain and discomfort due to the cold, but could lead to damage. There are numerous ways to avoid this direct contact. The most common technique is to use a towel to serve as both a container and a barrier. However, this method does not treat the entire wrist, can be messy and will involve another hand or some bandage to hold it in place. Not a big deal, but it will prevent you from accomplishing anything else, and may take more time if you decide to rotate the ice around each side of the wrist. Fortunately, companies have finally started to make sports medicine cold pack therapy products just for this condition. I recommend purchasing one of these ice wraps made especially for the wrist. They are very inexpensive, often less than $ 25.

Custom ice wraps are extremely comfortable and provide effective carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The concept is very simple. Manufacturers begin with gel ice packs. This gel is a special substance that promptly fills and feels comfortable when applied. The packs are then sealed in plastic or rubber before being placed in a special material that is perfect for many physical therapy applications. Once such material is neoprene, but there are others. Neoprene adds the perfect amount of insulation and padding without preventing the cold pack therapy process from working. Now you have a finished ice wrap that is a perfect carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. They can be put right back into the freezer for multiple applications. The nice thing about these ice wraps is that they may be used over your clothes without creating a mess when the ice thaws.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome An Unwelcome Side Effect of the Computer Revolution

Over the past twenty years, PCs and Macs have revolutionized the workplace and have created whole new job descriptions as well as radically redefining old ones. But along with the advances in information technology have come some very human problems. Employees typing on computer keyboards while staring at bright monitors for as much as eight or ten hours a day are suffering from maladies ranging from severe eyestrain to lower back problems to repetitive motion injury, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, [http://www.docorto.com/home.php?cat=369] once seen primarily in factory and farm workers having to perform repetitive movements in the course of their jobs, has become epidemic in office workers. The carpal tunnel, an opening in the bones of the wrist, serves as a passage for the median nerve that runs through the wrist from the arm to the hand. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve becomes compressed by swollen or damaged tendons and ligaments in the wrist. The result is sharp pain which worsens with use, weakness in the hand, and, in severe cases loss of full hand function.

In some cases an anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help alleviate symptoms; wrist supports can also help. Some carpal tunnel sufferers have claimed success with oral doses of vitamin B6, but the effectiveness of this has not been scientifically verified. Many victims of carpal tunnel syndrome have returned to wrist surgery, with varying degrees of success.

The best approach to carpal tunnel syndrome is avoiding it in the first place. Soft, padded bars running the length of standard keyboards are manufactured to provide a wrist support for keyboarders. Structuring one's workday to alternate periods of typing with other duties will help, as will taking periodic breaks away from the computer and desk altogether. And for some, which jobs require long stretches of typing with no break, or who are particularly susceptible to wrist injuries, the best remedy may be a new job that does not require repetitive motions.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – An Introduction

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a work-related, repetitive motion injury and may be defined as a compression of the median nerve as it passes through the anatomical tunnel of the wrist that causes pain and weakness in the fingers. Interestingly it is more common in women than men but there is no evidence that it is related to gender purely because it occurs in certain occupations that have greater female representation. Whilst the syndrome has been well studied, there is a tendency to immediately conclude that pain or numbness in the hand or forearm region indicates that the syndrome is present.

Carpal tunnel is more complicated to treat than tennis elbow as it involves nerve compression or entrapment. It is imperative to have a medical diagnosis to ensure that the symptoms are actually Carpal Tunnel syndrome rather than tendinitis. It is almost always an overuse injury involving the wrist but tightness in the anterior neck / chest or at the thoracic outlet can result in similar symptoms. It is a serious and complicated condition so please beware of therapists or workshops that promise to fix it in a single session with a few simple strokes. Even with the best massage treatment, Carpal Tunnel syndrome is rarely resolved without addressing the fundamental cause of the problem. Having said that, most Carpal Tunnel syndrome cases will greatly benefit from soft-tissue therapies.

The most common symptoms include numbness in the median-nerve distribution of the hand along with significant pain. The symptoms may be worse at night as people have a tendency to flex their wrists while they are sleeping, increasing pressure on the carpal tunnel. If the condition worsens then the sufferer may experience a loss of tactile sensitivity in the fingers. This is followed by motor dysfunction which is demonstrated as clumsiness, loss of dexterity and a weakening of grip strength.

Traditional treatment for Carpal Tunnel syndrome include modification to behavior, physical therapy, rehabilitation or even surgery. The pressure must be taken off the nerve so that the nerve tissue can heal which is normally accomplished with a modification in activity. However, it must be pointed out that damaged nerve can be very slow to heal and as a result it may take some time for recovery from the injury particularly if the condition is chronic. Anti-inflammatory medications may offer short-term relief through pain management and reduction of inflammation, however they will not address the biomechanical factors that originally led to the problem.

There is evidence that vitamin deficiency may be a factor in some cases. Research has found that combined B2 and B6 supplementation may be an effective treatment. The biomedical mechanism may be the result of a B6 deficiency reducing the effectiveness of collagen and elastin synthesis, leading to tissues being more susceptible to injury. However you should consult a qualified practitioner before taking B2 and B6 supplements.

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Are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises Really Effective?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition which occurs when the nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand becomes pressured or squeezed at the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur in about 1 in every 100 people at some stage in their lifetime and the symptoms are typically pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, moving up the arm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms can begin gradually, with the feeling of burning, tingling, or numbness felt in the palm of the hand and the fingers. The thumb and the index and middle fingers can be specifically affected.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often caused by repetitive strain on the wrist, often because a persons work, hobby or sport dictates a repetitive motion or movement.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be due to a congenital predisposition where the physical carpal tunnel is smaller in certain people than in others. A trauma or injury to the wrist and hand area, such as a sprain or fraction, can also cause the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

There are numerous treatments and proposed cures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but one of the most popular and straightforward self-help remedies are exercises designed to alleviate the symptoms.

Certain studies have concluded that if patients suffer from mild Carpal Tunnel symptoms then exercises can enable them to avoid surgery and provide the most effective relief when compared to other non-surgical treatments.

It is important to note that if a person suffers from severe or persistent Carpal Tunnel symptoms that they should consult their doctor or health practitioner as appropriate.

Stretching exercises performed for the hands and wrists at regular times throughout the day, even at times when no pain or discomfort is felt, can be extremely effective at managing the symptoms.

Over time you will learn the best exercises for your particular symptoms and when the right time to perform them. Occasionally you may be able to prevent the symptoms from repeating altogether or at least minimize the pain associated with the condition.

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What You Need To Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disease that occurs in the wrist and it is affecting more and more individuals each year. As a result of unwarranted pressure occurring on the median nerve, a nerve located in the wrist and responsible for much of the functioning of the hand, the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel may appear. Symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel are mild to severe pain in the joints, fingers, hands and / or arms, unexplained numbness and tingling, and in some cases, difficulty using the hands or arms due to weakness brought on by the sunset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome .

The reasons or causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome vary. Sometimes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome arises because the individual in question possesses another condition that was the cause of its sunset, while other individuals may have engaged in actions that thought about the sunset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Still other individuals may get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and may never really know the reasons why. The causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include, but are in no way limited to:

Aging – natural aging can result in the weakening of the tissues within one's wrist as well as the bones. With repeated and constant use, an issue with Carpal tunnel may develop over time as pressure increases on the median nerve.

Diabetes – Diabetes is a disease that is well known for creating nerve compression, especially in the feet, but it can also cause nerve compression in the hands as well. When a person with Diabetes winds up with a compressed medical nerve, the result is the formation of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Ganglion cysts – cysts can form inside of the wrist and directly place pressure on the median nerve and the surrounding area – the result? You guessed it – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tumors also produce the same affect when they are located in an individual's wrist and can prove to be the cause behind the sunset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Gout – gout is a disease that can affect the joints and nerves of the people affected by it. As a result, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sometimes becomes a secondary condition for the patient with gout.

Improperly healed injuries – former injuries to the wrist area that may have healed incorrectly can also bring on a case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Lupus – Lupus is a tricky disease as it often mimics the symptoms of other diseases. Joint pain can be a result and a person may actually have Carpal Tunnel when they have Lupus, or they may simply exhibit the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and not really have it at all. Rheumatoid arthritis is another joint condition that produces similar results.

Repetitive motion injuries – this is one of the largest reasons for developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Many jobs require employees to make repeated motions with their hands and even if the motion looks harmless, like typing and excess keyboarding, they can result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be treated with a number of non-invasive techniques and if such techniques fail, then surgery can be contemplated. The pain that is associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is typically managed with pain medications, chiropractic visits, and physical therapy. In extreme cases, when surgery is needed, the surgery focuses on removing the pressure from the median nerve in the wrist by making the tunnel that holds the median nerve wider. Unfortunately, surgical procedures that address the issue of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can result in permanent scarring on the wrists.

Ultimately, the effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be extremely painful. In fact, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be so painful it creates a grave disability for the individual that has it. Never the less, there are a few things people can do to fight Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and its sunset. Preemptive measures against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

Maintaining overall body health – when an individual is completely healthy, the risk of getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is lowered. Although some conditions are unavoidable, conditions like obesity can be avoided and can reduce the risks associated with getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Stay away from bad habits – Smoking is also associated with the sunset of Carpal Tunnel – smoking restricts nerves and may cause them to swell. The swelling in the median nerve then results in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Therefore refining from such habits is an effective measure in preventing the sunset of Carpal Tunnel.

Using ergonomically designed equipment – when involved in jobs that involve repetitive motion, it becomes necessary to use special equipment that can help prevent the onset of carpal tunnel. Specifically designed keyboards, mice, wrist pads, and wrist stints can actually help prevent the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive motion related injuries. Finally, taking frequent breaks from jobs that require repetitive motion can also keep Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at bay.

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Exercises For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), is a condition of the median nerve in the wrist being compressed as entering the inflated carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel is most common in heavy computer users, and seems to be most common at approximately age 50, although, can be accepted at any age. According to Wikipedia approximately 10% of the population will get CTS, however, risk can be reduced through proper exercise.

Known very simply as the Warm-Up Exercises, these exercises and stretches will help warm up the muscles and nerves and prepare the tunnel for heavy work. Start simply by stretching your fingers as far apart as you can and holding your wrists in a as-close-to-90-degrees position as you can, without forcing them out of place: hold this position for about 10 seconds. This will elongate the tendons and surrounding area without doing damage, allowing further movement, etc. while working. Once this has been held for 10 seconds, move on to a tight squeeze: squeeze your hands in to the toughest fist you can, and hold for 10 seconds; then, bend your wrists in a downward position, while retaining the squeeze. This has the same effect as the previous exercise, but in the opposite directions.

The rest of these exercises can be dangerous if you already show signs of CTS, and damage can occur. These are meant for preventive measure, not as a recovery method.

Any of the following CTS exercises which rely on weights should not be done with weights heavier than 2lbs. One pound dumbbells are ideal for these exercises.

Before any use of the wrists, one should perform these, or similar exercises for optimal effect. Begin by loosing up the hand: massage your hand, bend it in all expected directions (with your other hand), stretch as best you can. Bend back all your fingers, putting pressure in both directions.

To continue the warm up process, rotate your wrists in full circles. Do 10-15 of these in either direction, with both wrists. Ensure your arms are at an approximately 90 degree angle while doing these.

Do “wrist twists,” with or without dumbbells. Rotate your wrists as far as they will go in either direction, slowly.

Perform a similar motion in a “locked” position, bending your arms toward the sky, perform “window wiper” -like motions with the dumbbell in your hand.

Holding your dumbbell in your hand in a tight fist like shape, bend your wrists towards the floor, then slowly back up 90 degrees. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 10-15 times in either wrist.

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Wheelchair Gloves and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The hands of a manual wheelchair owner hold tremendous power. They are 'the engine', 'the steering', and 'the brakes'. They are the heart of a chair owner's mobility.

They also take a great deal of abuse.

A wheelchair owner's hands are exposed to constant friction and heat generated by pushing, stopping and turning. They are numbered and desensitized in cold and wet weather. Active and athletic owners are particularly vulnerable to the damage and irritation caused by constant use and exposure. In fact, At least 18% of all wheelchair users experience blisters, abrasions, and lacerations. Many more develop thick, rough calluses.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Wheelchair User's Enemy

Even more importantly, according to studies performed by Dr H. Gellman and his team from Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in California (49% of parapalegic patients showed signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome) , a potentially debilitating condition. Dr. Coopers and Dr. Robertson of California State University report ( http://tinyurl.com/rjh37 ) “Research in this area suggests that carpal tunnel syndrome may be the result of nerve compression which occurs during forceful endeavors with the hand and wrist in hyperflexion or hyperextension. strikes of the heel of the hand against the push rim may cause pain and numbness of the thumb and fingers. ”

Hands were simply not designed to withstand the repetitive impact and constant contact with wheelchair pushrims. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the effects of constant stress and exposure to the hands. Many researchers strongly recommend the use of properly designed wheelchair gloves to minimizeize hand injury.

Wheelchair Gloves Can Provide Relief

Properly designed wheelchair gloves can provide:

o Protection against skin damage caused by starting, stopping and turning the wheelchair.

o Protection against injury caused by vibrations and repeated impact.

o Improved stopping and maneuverability

o Comfort in cold or wet weather

Unfortunately, many gloves marketed as “wheelchair gloves” fail. They fall apart under intense use, or worse, are inappropriate for the lifestyles of their owners. The requirements of an athlete can be different from a moderately active person who is using a wheelchair in cold weather, while the needs of a person with limited hand function are different from those of a person who is experiencing a great deal of vibration or impact to the hand. Therefore it is important that a wheelchair user buys high quality, gloves that were designed for their specific needs.

To meet the unique needs of active wheelchair users, Med Services Europe has launched RehaDesign Gloves. For more information click here: RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves or contact us at http://www.NewDisability.com

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Three Steps To Reducing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease. It plagues an ever-growing segment of our populations, and it is a degenerative and therefore preventable disease.

Step One:

The first step in overcoming carpal tunnel syndrome without resorting to drugs or surgery is simply in knowing that you have the power over your physique: that you, and you alone control your destination and the health of your body.

Step Two:

Your next step is discovering the ideal series of stretches and steps you can take, easily, during your day-to-day life, in order to reverse your symptoms naturally, and without any difficulties. The most effective of these home stretches should involve a full body system or at least a system that incorporates the neck and shoulders as well as the arm and hands. Excellent resources for this sort of a program and a variety of other conditions can be found by searching online or in your local bookstore.

Step Three:

Finally, in order to overcome this disease without having to resort to drugs or surgery, it is important that you enlist an alternative health care practitioner. A chiropractor can examine and x-ray your back and your neck and perform other tests to determine exactly where your pain is coming from. Once the nerve causing the problem has been isolated, a brief treatment plan is often all that is needed to provide real relief.

Getting to the root of carpal tunnel syndrome and reversing the condition without enlisting the aid of a surgeon or resorting to pain killers is the absolute answer to the carpal tunnel phenomenon. Ignoring the true cause by simply removing a part of your body or medicating away the pain will always lead to a future sunset of new conditions.

Addressing the true cause and taking it on head on with an effective home program and / or using an effective natural health practitioner is the key to a real reversal of the condition and a real change in your health.

About the Author:

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

My twenty-something son called me the other day to ask me “What should I do about my Carpal Tunnel”? He works on a computer all day and his wrists are just killing him. I suggested he got a gel pad thingy that you put in front of your keyboard. This has helped me in the past but I'm not on the computer all day like he is. He pointed out that he uses a laptop so the gel thingy will not work.

So I started doing some research and there are a lot of things out there that people swear will help and even cure you without surgery. One of the cures was Emu oil, another was an elastic brace that you wear all night, both of these will cost you a bit but if they worked you'd be happy.

It is hard to know what will work and when you're in pain you will try anything.

I told my son to try this exercise, do it a few times a day … it maybe simple but sometimes, “out of simple things precedes that which is great”

“Place your hands together palms touching as if in the praying position. Then while keeping your fingers touching the fingers on the other hand slowly pull the palms away from each other, keeping the fingers in place, it will push the fingers against each other and you will feel the strain in your wrist and through your hands as you slowly place more and more pressure pushing the fingers ratio only of your hands against each other, press as hard as you can and hold for a count of 10, then release and relax your hands, repeat a couple of times each night until the pain is gone. It's so simple and it really really works wonders. ”

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Carpal Tunnel is Being Built While You Work

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects anyone who treats on his or her hands for work. Over time, repetitive motives in the workplace or at home cause strain on the eight carpal bones within the wrists that lead to the fingers – making up the carpal tunnel. This strain leads to swelling and severe pain, often inhibiting people from being able to do every day things like cooking, cleaning, sewing and despite most significant of them all, working.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Carpal Tunnel is the number one work-related injury. Furthermore, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is cited as the top injury that leaves people out of work for the longest amount of time – 31 days or more for 50 percent of CTS sufferers!

The most frequent remedy for fixing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is through surgery, but surgery is costly, decreases work productivity and, often does not fully heal. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a mere 23 percent of those who undergo the surgical procedure are unable to return to their former job for a variety of reasons, including CTS symptoms reoccurring.

According to some estimates, $ 30,000 is lost per worker over the course of a CTS sufferer's life from, among other things, medical expenses and an accessibility to find work.

If you feel as though you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but are not sure, there are certain sure-fire questions you can ask yourself that will give you a good idea:

Does it hurt to shake hands with someone? Is it painful to pick things up? Do you get a repeating tingling sensation in your hands? Does it hurt to grip things?

If you answered in the affirmative to these questions, there's a good chance you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

But there's good news. You can cure symptoms of CTS naturally, with a series of exercise designed under the “How to Cure your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Naturally” electronic guide.

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Alternative Remedy for Carpal Tunnel

Finding an alternative remedy for carpal tunnel is a tricky subject. With so many products, from vitamin concoctions to various squeeze balls, all claiming to be successful treatments for carpal tunnel, how do you know where to begin?

We do know that surgery is the last resort for helping carpal tunnel sufferers. It is for those who have tried everything else and failed. After surgery, your grip and hand function will never be the same, no matter what exercises you perform or therapy you undertake, surgery has permanently disabled a part of your hand that will never again be regained. Surgery also has a very low rate of success, considering that after 6 years, 90% of patients are experiencing symptoms again. Therefore, there is a high rate of patients who undergo multiple carpal tunnel surgeries. During the first surgery, doctors cut the ligament, each surgery thereafter is to clear away scar tissue that has build up, creating the same pressure and loss of space as the ligament was doing.

Here are a few of the alternative options that seem to provide the best results and have the most clinical backing.

Creating Muscle Balance: Studies have shown that most people, even those with moderate to severe carpal tunnel, can greatly reduce or completely treat their symptoms by performing exercises that create balance within their hand, wrist and forearm. Clinical research has demonstrated that the overuse of the flexor muscles that close the hand, and under use of the extensor muscles, which open the hand, cause the hand to collapse in on itself, squeezing the carpal tunnel, restricting space and initiating the cycle of pain, numbing and weakness. By simply strengthening the extensor muscles that cross the finger, wrist and elbow joints, it has been found, you can control or completely alleviate your symptoms! NOTE: Squeezing and gripping devices have long been proven, time and again, to worsen carpal tunnel! Only exercise of the extensor muscles that open the hand are recommended.

Wrist Braces and Splints: For those in the earliest stages of carpal tunnel, when worn at night, a wrist brace may be enough to regain control of your carpal tunnel symptoms. Wrist braces and splints are not effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome for those with moderate or severe symptoms, but can assist when used at night. These devices are meant to keep the wrist from curling into a fist so that the wrist stops in a straight position in order to reduce impingement of the carpal tunnel. Be aware, studies have proven that wearing a wrist brace too often will further damage the extensor muscles and worsen your carpal tunnel.

Massage: For many with mild symptoms, massage can provide the necessary relief of carpal tunnel. For those with moderate to severe carpal tunnel symptoms, massage is often very helpful, but temporary. Massaging and stretching the stronger, shorter and tighter flexor muscles helps relax and loosen the restriction around the carpal tunnel, allowing for temporary relief. Once you have had the flexor muscles massed and stretched out, it is recommended you follow immediately with strengthening exercises for the opposing muscles, which will very well hold the stretching and lengthening of the flexor muscles in place.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound tend to have its highest rate of success when used in conjunction with a treatment program that includes soft-tissue work, stretching of the flexor muscle group, and the strengthening of the extensor muscle group. Ultrasound can help reduce inflammation in an acute case of tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other forms of injury.

Always consult a physician or healthcare professional before starting any type of exercise or treatment program. Good Luck!

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