Carpal Tunnel “Cure”

Twenty years ago, carpal tunnel was considered a disease, and the search for a “cure” was in great demand. Today, it has become apparent that carpal tunnel is certainly not a disease, but usually just a simple case of muscle imbalance. Of course, receiving a doctor's diagnosis of this is required, as there are other things that will cause carpal tunnel or the same symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Besides muscle imbalance, water tension, obesity, genetic, diabetes and arthritis can either cause carpal tunnel or exhibit signs of carpal tunnel. Your doctor can run a few tests to rule out most of these and help direct you to the best form of treatment.

The first treatment should be exercises that help promote a healthy balance within your upper extremity. Most people can completely treat or severely reduce their symptoms by focusing on the weak, underused muscles on the backside of the hand and forearm, called the extensor muscles. Studies show that while exercising the weak extensor muscle group, and stretching the tight, over used flexor group (located on the palm side of your hands and forearm) you can easily and rather quickly, end your carpal tunnel dilemma for good.

Due to scientific studies highlighting the potential for great success when carpal tunnel is treated as a muscle imbalance, you can now find a number of healthcare professionals using techniques that will specifically focus on exercising the extensor muscles, while stretching and lengthening the flexor muscles. Before you allow anyone to perform surgery, it is advised you first try more conservative methods. Search out a therapist that understands the theory of muscle balance and carpal tunnel – chances are very good they will be able to alleviate all your symptoms without cutting you open.

Best Wishes and Good Luck !!

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has symptoms of tingling and numbness in the hands, fingers and wrists that is sometimes so painful that it is difficult to sleep. These are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS is almost always a consequence of some sort of repetitive movement, that is, some sort of movement that you have repeated several hundred to several thousand times in a day.

Relieving CTS in the wrists and other areas is not as difficult as the pain would suggest. Individuals who experience CTS at its most extreme symptoms can not be easily persuaded to avoid the often-recommended surgical procedure. The surgical procedure itself is not necessarily dangerous. The problem with the surgery is that, should it not be successful, or should the condition relapse, and return to its full symptoms, this option is no longer as valid a solution. It is wiser to initially begin in a conservative care program.

Chiropractors, Massage therapists, and acupuncturists often offer successful treatment programs. There are also several herbs available on the market that offers a high level of success. Most importantly, there are a series of stretches and trigger point reductions that you should have made aware of. Reducing these trigger points and incorporating stretches, when used appropriately, will be exactly what you need to reduce your symptoms and to maintain a symptom free condition in spite of your daily activities.

Look for and learn the routines, and if you are unsure of what to do, approach one of the alternative practicers listed in the paragraph above, and ask questions to make sure that they are well trained to treat CTS before you make any appointments. Stretching routines and Trigger Point Reduction may be all you need to provide real, lasting relief.

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Common Methods of Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an increasingly common and painful affliction that harbors millions of workers world wide every year. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an affliction that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes impinged at the wrist junction. The carpal tunnel is a narrow area consisting of the transverse carpal ligament and the carpal bones located at the base of the hand. This is the area where the median nerve can become impinged, since the reason it is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome will cause pain, weakness, paresthesia (pins and needles) and numbness in the hand and wrist, along with increased weakness and decreased strength. The best way to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome is to take the steps to prevent it.

The first most important step in prevention is knowledge. Carpal tunnel syndrome most often affects workers who have jobs that require constant static or repeated movements, such as factory work, grocers, or computer workers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is not relegated just to these occupations, but it is much more common. It is the consistent static motion such as gripping a steering wheel, holding a book and / or repeated motions performed over and over that cause this disorder. Due to musculature development and wrist size, women are almost three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men. The worst profession for carpal tunnel syndrome is not data entry and other computer jobs, but it is actually assemblers in a factory. Recent studies estimate that nearly three of every 10,000 workers lost considering time from work because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Those restricted to light duty is much higher.

Catching the problem early is extremely important. The earlier the disorder can be recognized and addressed, the better. A physical of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck can help determine if a worker's pains are in any way related to daily activities or to any type of disorder. The wrist should be examined for discoloration, swelling, tenderness, or warmth. Each finger should be tested for sensation, and the muscles at the base of the hand should be examined. The best way to decrease injury of injury in the workplace is for workers to do conditioning. Workers can take a short amount of time to perform stretching and exercises to maintain muscle balance, take frequent rest breaks, and use correct posture and wrist position. Maintaining proper wrist position is essential. In a factory setting, jobs can be rotated among workers.

Some great tips to follow at work:

Avoid activities requiring excessive up-and-down and side-to-side movements of the wrist. These are the repetitive motors most likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Position your hands properly while working. Wrists should always be parallel and elbows should make a 90-degree angle to your work surface.

Situation permitting, take frequent breaks to stand, walk, stretch and exercise the entire upper extremity to maintain balance of the muscles, thereby reducing impingement of the associated joints.

Avoid direct pressure on the heel of the hand. This puts pressure on the wrist.

If working with a keyboard, use correct posture, holding your hand above the keyboard in order to help keep your wrists in an appropriate position.

Following these tips is a great way to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. However if you do have an early case of carpal tunnel, there are still ways to minimize the damage and prevent it from getting worse, even while keeping the same job. It is important for the worker to take all necessary precautions as soon as he / she believes there may be any damage. Once you are sure that you have early stages of carpal tunnel, be sure to pay attention to the following tips.

At work:

· Take more frequent breaks from the pain-causing movement.

· Perform active and passive stretches

· Perform exercises to correct muscle imbalances in the hand and forearm.

· Keep your keyboard level at your desk, and be sure to take advantage of any wrist friendly keyboards or other equipment that might be in the office. Some larger companies offer ergonomic consultation for their employees; if it is available, make use of it.

At home:

· Perform correct exercises and stretches.

· Use cold therapy on the wrist. (Acute Phase)

· Have someone massage your neck, back, shoulders, forearms and hands to tie tension in the forearm and wrist.

· Wear splints at night. (Nighttime only) Most doctors will recommend a forearm brace, a narrow cuff worn just below the elbow that reduces fluid content in the carpal tunnel. (Daytime use will increase muscle imbalance and severity of symptoms.)

· Minimize static flexion and repetitive hand movements when possible.

· Switch up tasks to reduce strain.

· Take breaks at least once an hour, to rest, shake your hands and loosen everything up. (It is best to take a brief rest break every 30-45 minutes.)

General lifestyle tips:

· Keep hands warm. Warmth can help increase circulation, which will help ease the swelling and pain.

· Keep active! Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming.

· Do your best to cut caffeine in intake and smoking, both of which reduce blood flow and therefore worsen the situation.

· And most important, there are many muscle balancing exercises that doctors and therapists recommend that help restore stability in the joint and reduce impingement, thereby alleviating the pain and also stabilizing the carpal tunnel.

Ask your doctor about these exercises and what the actual benefits are for full results.

Follow these guidelines and you will be able to lead a healthy lifestyle, free of the pain and anguish that can be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Grocery Checkers

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious affliction suffered by millions of workers a year. While it starts off as just pain, carpal tunnel syndrome is a very serious disorder that can lead to severe pain and nerve damage. Those most at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome are those who have jobs that involve constant repetitive and / or static motion, particularly of the wrists, arms, and hands. While this may immediately bring office workers to mind, this problem stretches well past the basic cubicles of a call center or of a data entry center. Carpal tunnel syndrome actually afflicts more assembly line workers and grocers than computer workers. Grocery checkers are actually considered so highly at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome that even the federal government has singled them out as a group that needs support to combat this affliction.

Men are found to only be 1/3 as reasonably as women to have carpal tunnel syndrome. The most recognized reason for this is due to the fact that women incur muscle imbalances at a faster rate and their wrists are generally thinner, so the carpal tunnel is smaller and so it is easier to damage the median nerve within. Work that requires constant repetition that involves flexing the fingers, or wrists, will increase your chances of carpal tunnel syndrome. Static flexion involving gripping motions such as holding power tools, gripping a steering wheel or holding a pen will also cause the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Bagging groceries and scanning all the various items, not to mention use of the cash register, is a major reason why grocery checkers are among the most highly afflicted group of workers.

Grocery checkers are so prone to carpal tunnel syndrome and similar injuries, that OSHA has specifically singled them out as a prime example of workers who need special considerations in their environment. The loss from workman's comp and lost time is enough that many employers have worked hard to introduce injury prevention programs. Many of these employers have reported happily that their efforts have actually had a positive effect on work-related injuries and workers' compensation costs. While the following advice was specifically designed for grocery checkers and grocery stores, it is equally valid for fast food, gas station or convenience store clerks, or any workers in a high volume retail environment.

Think ergonomics. What's that? Well ergonomics is basically a process by which the tools and environment around a worker or specifically designed to help take pressure off the parts of the worker's body that are going to experience the most stress. This can apply to back, shoulders, neck, but it also very commonly is used in reference to wrists and wrist injuries, especially carpal tunnel syndrome. OSHA highly recommends that all employers in retail look for ergonomic solutions, and in general the employers that have gone that route have reported seeing a positive difference. One of the main reasons why the government and employers have taken so much interest, and why it so much focus has been put on carpal tunnel syndrome in grocery checkers, is because how vital a grocery store is to every single community, and because of the huge amount of employment that these stores create.

Grocery store work can be physically demanding. It is not at all uncommon for many grocery store workers, even in small towns, to handle thousands of items every day to stock shelves, check groceries, run the register or prepare inventory. Out of all these actions, the five things to look out for when trying to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome are force, repetition, duration, awkward positions, and static postures, all which contribute to the development of muscle imbalances, the main causative factor of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Trying to find a way to do the work that cuts down on these red flags, and the occurrence of work related injuries would decrease. It is in the employer's best interest to pay attention when an employee gets an injury. There might be some people who do not think carpal tunnel syndrome is a big deal – but they would be mistaken. If an employee has carpal tunnel syndrome, then how is he or she going to do a job that requires constant hand movement, wrist movement or anything else along those lines?

Because of the way scanners are situated, and because of the job itself, there is always going to be the repetitive movements, the turning of the wrist to scan a bar code, all the little things that can cause some carpal tunnel syndrome in workers who are keeping up a grocery store. Knowing that this is a problem, however, is the first step to dealing with it. Through ergonomics, special stretches and muscle balancing exercises, and implementing job rotation to prevent one person from doing too much of one job, carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented, which is always better than waiting until an actual treatment is necessary.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Musicians

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Along with the diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome comes considering pain and injury along with numbness, paresthesia (pins and needles) and loss of hand strength, coordination, and pincer grass. This disadvantage is problematic for almost any profession; however, it can be absolutely disabling for musicians.

The most widely diagnosed nerve entrapment disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, is characterized by pain, swelling, numbness, and tingling in the hand and wrist. The disorder stems from excessive stress and strain placed on the arm, wrist, and hand that result from repetitive and / or static (non-moving) flexion of the fingers and wrist. This unidirectional strain causes a muscle imbalance in the hand and forearm, resulting in the stronger, shorter flexor muscles that close the hand to compress the undering medium nerve within the carpal tunnel, which is central to hand, and wrist movement.

The median nerve actually begins in the neck and travels through the shoulder joint through the brachial Plexus down to the elbow and eventually to the carpal tunnel joint in the wrist. With repetitive unidirectional motions / activities being performed on a regular basis, the imbalanced muscles in the hand and forearm can cause the carpal bones that form the carpal tunnel to become misaligned, creating pressure and pain in the wrist as the bones compress the median nerve within . Critically, it is not only carpal tunnel syndrome that can result from an existing muscle imbalance in the hand and arm, but also other repetitive strain injuries that involve the ulnar and radial nerves at the wrist or elbow junctions. Thus, effective treatment must address muscle length and strength imbalances that may be present in the entire upper extremity region.

For musicians, carpal tunnel syndrome can be akin to a death sentence. Incapacitated through the hand and forearm, musicians may have to modify practice and performance routines. It is impossible to play the piano, strum the guitar, or manipulate the bow of a cello without superb dexterity and responsiveness in the fingers and wrist. Rest is often the first-line recommendation for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is an option that few professionals can afford to take.

Thankfully, there are effective treatments that can protect against the development of carpal tunnel syndrome in musicians and that can curb the impact of symptoms as soon as they emerge. Strategically designed exercises that target specific muscles and groups of muscles in the hand and forearm have been shown to reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome with 90 percent effectiveness.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At the base of the palm bounded by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway about as big around as your thumb. The median nerve passes through this tunnel along with 9 tendons. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist causing pain, weakness or numbness and tingling in the hand and wrist which can radiate up the arm. Symptoms typically develop gradually and may become worse at night. Symptoms often follow a pattern of improving with rest then worsening with activity that require gratifying items or bending the wrist.

What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Pressure on the Median nerve can be caused by trauma or injury to the wrist, frequent use of vibrating hand tools or any repetitive, forceful motion with the wrist in a bent position especially when done for prolonged periods without rest. CTS can also be caused by underlying medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, pregnancy and thyroid problems. Symptoms of CTS typically resolve or improve when these underlying medical conditions are treated.

Non-surgical Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Treatment for CTS focuses on decreasing demands on the wrist and hand and reducing pressure on the median nerve. This is usually accomplished by activity modification, splinting, exercise and anti-inflammatory measures which may include ultrasound, iontophoresis, cold packs and oral medication. Non-surgical treatment is most effective with mild to moderate symptoms of CTS.

Activity Modification

Wrist position is key to controlling carpal tunnel symptoms. The carpal tunnel is most narrow when the wrist is bent down or extended all the way back and largest when the wrist is straight. The more the wrist is bent, the more pressure is placed on the median nerve. Changing how you do repetitive hand activities or avoiding these activities all together can help. Principles of activity modification to follow:

o Avoid flexed finger / flexed wrist postures.

o Take frequent breaks (every 30-60 minutes) from repetitive hand activity.

o Avoid repetitive, forceful grasp and prehension activities.

o Relax your grip. Avoid grasping too hard when driving, writing or using hand tools.

o Alternate activity frequently.

o Wear padded gloves when working with vibrating equipment.

o Use correct posture.

Wrist Splints (braces)

Splints are used to immobilize the wrist in a neutral (unbent) position to maximize the size of the carpal tunnel and reduce pressure on the median nerve. Splints are worn during the night. Usually it is not necessary to wear splints during the day. Doing so may actually worsen the problem because it makes work more awkward.

Physical Therapy and Exercise

Anti-inflammatory modalities of iontophoresis, ultrasound and cold packs and special hand exercises can help to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of CTS.

Arm & Shoulder Stretch

Lace fingers together & turn palms facing out as you press your hands away from your body until a stretch is felt. Hold 10 seconds, Repeat 3-5 times

Cervical Forward Bending

Bend head forward until a stretch is felt. Hold 10
seconds, Repeat 3-5 times.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Keeping elbow straight, grasps involved hand and slowly bringing wrist back until a stretch is felt. Hold 10 seconds, Repeat 3-5 times.

Executive Stretch

Lace fingers together behind your head, bringing your elbows back as far as possible. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold 10 seconds, Repeat 3-5 times.

Cervical Side Bending

Tilt head toward shoulder until stretch is felt. Hold 10 seconds, Repeat to opposite shoulder, Repeat 3-5 times.

Wrist Extensor Stretch

Keeping elbow straight, grasped concealed hand and slowly bend wrist down until a stretch is felt. Hold 10 seconds, Repeat 3-5 times.

Posterior Shoulder Stretch

Grasp your elbow with other hand as shown. Pull the elbow and arm across your chest so that you feel a stretch. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

Cervical Rotation

Turn head to look over shoulder until a stretch is felt. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat to opposite shoulder. Repeat 3-5 times.

Strengthening exercises for affected muscles and reconditioning of the arms are begin as symptoms resolve. See your physician or an Excel physical therapist if you are experiencing symptoms of CTS. http://www.ExcelPT.com

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Signs And Symptoms Of The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. The Carpal Tunnel is a canal in the wrist. The Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually, with a light pain in your wrist that can from there extend into the hand or forearm of a patient who is experiencing this problem. The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome also comes with a few other common signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms include (but are not limited to):

Burning, tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand, especially the thumb, index, middle or ring fingers. Be aware that the little finger of your hand will NOT show these symptoms. This feeling or sensation actually often occurs while operating a vehicle or when being on the phone or when reading a newspaper. It also sometimes bears a patient upon awakening. A fruitless attempt to “fix the problem” is trying to “shake out” the hands to get a relationship from the symptoms.

Other signs or symptoms of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:

– A constant pain extending from your wrist up into your arm all the way up to your shoulder or down into the palm or fingers of your hand.

– A sense of weakness in your affected hands. It is not uncommon to develop a tendency to drop objects that you are holding in your hands.

– A constant and persistent loss of feeling in some or all affected fingers. This usually can occur if the condition is already at an advanced state.

The Carpal tunnel syndrome is specifically associated with specific manual tasks including:

– Repetitive hand movements

– Awkward hand positions

– Strong gripping

– Mechanical stress on the palm

– Strong, repeating vibrations

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Simple Steps To Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a serious and painful form of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). It can disrupt your work and leisure activities by affecting your hand and wrist. It is easier to prevent than to treat.

Regular exercise can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Perform conditioning and stretching exercises on your wrist at the start of work and during frequent breaks. Strengthen the fingers, forearms, hands, shoulders and the neck also. Integrating these simple exercises into your daily life can decrease median nerve pressure and keep carpal tunnel syndrome from developing.

You can take preventive measures when you work in an office. Set up an ergonomic desktop station. Position the keyboard tray below the work surface. Arrange your activity and work space using ergonomic guidelines. Either use a cushioned wrist rest for mouse or a track ball instead of a mouse.

Avoid any activities that contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, either stop or reduce repetitive movements that put your wrist in a bent position. If you have to perform repetitive wrist motions, then keep your wrists in a neutral position, maintain a proper posture, and take regular breaks from repetitive activities. You can also switch your task to reduce pressure on your wrist and prevent infection in the hand and wrist from advancing into carpal tunnel syndrome.

If your job requires repetitive wrist motions, ask your orthopedic surgeon about wrist splints to restrict wrist movement. Orthopedically designed wrist braces such as SmartGlove and Wrsteasy can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and treat wrist pain.

To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, keep your hands and wrists at a comfortable temperature while working. If your hands are cold, you are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Position and align your wrists and hands properly while working. Place your wrists parallel and your elbows at a right angle to your table.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, a common wrist pain, places heavy toll on productivity and compensation claims. These simple steps can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Why allow it to develop and interfere with your life when you can stop it? Prevention is better than cure.

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Pain Management: Treat Carpal Tunnel – Wrist Pain Without Drugs

In alleviating sore wrists, sore hands and other recurrent tendonitis and irritated neurology, symptoms often attributed to Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), we look at the cause not the symptoms.

We find that the basic cause of many forms of CTS, wrist Pain are what we call, Repetitive Muscle Stress, reactive muscle imbalances. That is muscles not working together and communicating with the brain. The tendon, joint, and nerve injury is secondary.

Remember, Muscles pull bones; bones do not pull on muscles.

The bottom line cause of CTS, Wrist Pain is the muscles in the forearm get very stressed, tight and pulls on the Carpal Tunnel, which unexpectedly collapses.

The stress on the wrist will begin to irritate and injure the tendons and nerves passing through the wrist area, greatly increasing the pain intensity. In time the injury may become so intense that you will be unable to use your fingers.

What is a Reactive Muscle?

Reactive muscles are muscles that weakened when another muscle, the reactor, is activated. The weakened muscles can lead to muscle pain, and the overly strong reactor muscles can cause tendon and joint pain.

Reactive muscle combinations may be created by sudden injury or repetitive muscle movements (as found in playing musical instruments, using computer keyboards, etc.).

Muscles play a tug of war with each other. They have to learn to work together and communicate with the brain.

A Grocery Store Check-out Clerk suffered constant pain in her shoulders and could not raise her arms to put pullover sweaters on or off. She also had severe wrist pain. Going through the movements involved in a checkout procedure, sliding packages along the counter with one hand while punching cash register keys with the other triggered multiple reactive muscle imbalances. Correcting these muscle imbalances relieved the pain and enabled her to raise her hands over her head. This also deleted the stress in her wrist.

A Creative Musician, who was recording her own compositions using a synthesizer keyboard, was so troubled with pains in her arms and wrists that she was unable to continue her recording sessions. Resting for several days at a time was no help; since when she went back to playing the keyboard, the problems would return.

We had her sit down and mimic playing the keyboard and corrected the resulting reactive muscle imbalances. Her pain level was much reduced.

She telephoned a couple of days later to tell us she was feeling better and better, and had started up her recording sessions again.

Muscles are the missing link to our aches and pains.

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When Do You Need Carpal Tunnel Release Physical Therapy?

Carpal tunnel is the term for a vessel found in the hand, which contains many other important nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure or inflammation in the nerves within the carpal tunnel.

The initial treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is non-surgical. However, if symptoms do not improve or the condition persists for more than six months, your doctor will most likely recommend surgery, also known as carpal tunnel release, to ease the pressure on the carpal tunnel.

What happens in a carpal tunnel release?

Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure, which involves cutting the surrounding tissues on the wrist to lessen the pressure on the affected nerve. The traditional method of surgery is open release surgery, wherein the doctor widens the carpal tunnel by cutting the ligament through an incision made on the wrist about two inches in size.

Another type of carpal tunnel release surgery is endoscopic surgery, which often requires two incisions, each half an inch in size, one on the wrist and another on the palm. Some doctors may make only one incision on the wrist. Next, the doctor inserts a tube with a camera through one of the incisions and by observing the onscreen view of the affected area, the doctor efficiently proceeds with cutting the carpal ligament. Endoscopic surgery provides quicker recovery, minimal post-surgery discomfort and less scarring than open release surgery.

Patients may have carpal tunnel release done on one or both hands. Patients are usually under local anesthesia during the surgery but some cases may require general anesthesia. Carpal tunnel release is an outpatient procedure so patients do not have to stay in the hospital overnight.

After surgery, your focus will naturally be a speedy recovery. It is important to note that complete recovery may take several months. Patients should go through carpal tunnel release physical therapy to strengthen the wrist. If it is not necessary for you to change your job, your therapist may ask you to change some work habits or adjust some activities that may affect your recovery.

Doctors usually recommend carpal tunnel release physical therapy when patients are undergoing surgery on both hands. In this case, the patient undergoes carpal tunnel release physical therapy in between surgeries to advance the recovery process. When recommending carpal tunnel release physical therapy, doctors look at the extent of the surgery and the condition of the operated area. While carpal tunnel release physical therapy is not compulsory, it will certainly contribute to a faster recovery.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Carpal Tunnel is a passageway inside the wrist, a tunnel surrounded by bones and ligaments. Aiming to protect the median nerve, the nerve that runs down the arm and forearm into the hand, the Carpal Tunnel can sometimes be affected by a syndrome. This syndrome, called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, occurs when abnormal pressure is placed on the median nerve, causing decreased hand and finger function and leaving those affected sometimes unable to perform even the simplest tasks.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can develop for many years with no noticeable symptoms. However, when the first symptoms do appear they include burning or tingling sensations in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to trap onto objects, and a weakness of the hands. Because Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves the median nerve, it affects the parts of the hand that the median nerve supplies. These include the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Since the pinky finger is not controlled by the median nerve, the pinky finger is not usually hindered by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Those experiencing symptoms for the first time may notice that their Carpal Tunnel Syndrome flares up at night and that they can sometimes get relief by vigorously shaking their hand.

Known as a “hidden disability,” people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may fully function from the view of an outsider, with hands that are capable to engage in most normal activities. But, the person with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome typically has some restriction of hand function or significant pain during hand movement.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often caused by under conditions that place a strain on the median nerve, compromising the blood supply it delivers to the fingers. These can include existing diseases such as diabetes, which increases the sensitivity of pressure to the median nerve, and hypothyroidism, which can increase the amount of water retained in the arms and wrists.

Many causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are not disease-based, however, causes can be generated from external stimuli, such as wrist injuries, fractures of the arm bone, and dislocation of one of the carpal bones in the wrist. Pregnancy, because it can cause swelling of the wrists, can also place pressure on the median nerve by narrowing the carpal tunnel.

Many instances of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are thought to be idiopathic, having no obvious cause. However, even with idiopathic events, certain activities can aggravate the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These can include using power tools or working on an assembly line, constantly performing repetitive – and sometimes awkward – motions. Certain people can even be born with an abnormally narrow carpal tunnel, making them predisposed to the syndrome that may accompany it.

While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can affect all demographics, it is far more common in women than in men. It is also most common in those who are middle aged and post-menopausal. Obesity and tobacco use increases a person's risk.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many people with a mild case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will find relief simply in adjusting their lifestyle and workstyle habits. While foregoing repetitive wrist activity may not be feasible, particularly when a care is based on repetitive motion, allowing the wrist time to rest while at work and at play can greatly alleviate the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Resting the wrist for great lengths at a time may seem like a reasonable break, but studies have shown that it is more beneficial for those afflicted by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to take several small breaks, rather than one that is lengthy. Applying cold packs to tie any swilling of the hands and wrists is also a helpful form of treatment.
For those with a case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that is not aided by rest or cold compressions, wrist splinting is an alterative form of treatment. A person, wearing a splint that keeps their hand still while they sleep, may notice that the symptoms of burning, tingling, and pain are greatly relieved. Wrist splinting, however, is usually only helpful for those who have had symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for less than a year.

While Carpal Tunnel Syndrome certainly does not have a magic pill serving as an antidote in its healing, there are certain medications that can relate its pain and discomfort. These can include Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) for those whose condition is brought on by inflammation or Corticosteroids to relieve the pressure on the median nerve, reducing the pain in the process.
The literal hands-on approach of spinal manipulation and deep friction massage can help manage the swing that is pressing on the median nerve, causing the symptoms to flare up. Manual stretches of the wrist and tendons, additionally, can help increase the blood flow to the hand.

While the evidence is not definitive, some speculate that dietary changes may lead to diminishing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms by arming the body with the nutrients it needs to repair nerve damage and decrease inflammation. By taking something as simple as a multi-vitamin, pressure from the median nerve may be diminished, allowing it to repair itself back to its natural state.
While the above mentioned treatment options are usually limited to being beneficial to those who have mild to moderate cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for those who have severe cases, surgery may be the best option.

Although there are several approved surgeries for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, they all involve the same theme of the cutting of the ligament that is pressing on the median nerve. They are also all procedures done on an out patient basis, with a small incision cut in the wrist or the palm and a recovery time of just a few weeks. While not all surgeries are successful in relieving the symptoms, roughly 70 percent of patients who choose surgery report satisfaction with the outcome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can happen for reasons that are understood and for reasons that are unknown. However, practicing self-care can prevent some of the symptoms that arise no matter the underlying cause. From keeping hands warm to improving posture, and from relaxing the grip while performing tasks with the hands to taking frequent breaks, the best chance at preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome typically lies with some conscientious effort.

About us: The Center for Osteopathic Medicine in Boulder, Colorado believes in The Osteopathic Difference . In a medical industry focused on treating symptoms, the Center is more focused on finding the cause of these symptoms. The Osteopathic Difference is the application of “Hands on Therapeutics” for both the diagnosis and treatment of complaints, disorders, and pain. The Osteopathic Difference will apply the time proven osteopathic fact that function is directly related to structure, and poor structure will lead to poor function.

While The Center tries to focus on health, and above all else, prevention for all those who cross into its threshold, sometimes the best that can be done is to recognize the source of the “DIS-EASE,” and to teach every individual how to manage their symptoms. Believing that it is the most important aspect of any treatment regime, and that it is the primary job of the health care practitioner, The Center works to empower the patient in the maintenance of their own health.

Achieving health is also an elusive place, and The Center will work tirelessly to create a path to health which, when embroidered by the patient over time, will allow the patient to enjoy a positive return on their rehabilitation investment. The Center teaches a Mindfulness Yoga Program that aims to educate the patient in the power of the mind to minimize, if not rid the body of, aches and pain. Although the ultimate goal of health is to live without the use of drugs, natural or otherwise, The Center for Osteopathic Medicine recognizes the importance of physicians and their appropriate use. All styles of “Hands on Manipulation” are practiced at The Center. By combining these Manipulative Techniques with Structural Integration, massage, meditation and Western Medicine, the Center for Osteopathic Medicine helps people to identify disease before it manifests, quiet pains that have been previously diagnosed as Chronic, and embrace a holistic mindset to Live in the Present – and within that presence, live completely well.

The information discussed in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. If you are experiencing symptoms of a health problem, please visit your doctor. The material discussed on this website is not meant to replace the opinion or diagnosis of a medical professional.

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Preventing Carpal Tunnel and Computer and Cell Phone Radiation Cancer

It used to be that physical injury was associated with Huns and Barbarians pillaging your village. When a man calls me “Honey” is he really sending me a mixed message? While you are sitting there reading this absolute baloney in front of your computer screen or instant messaging your hordes of buddies you are actually nuking yourself to death. Is not it always the case that the things that are the most fun in life are the things which tear your cells limb from limb hurling you into life long unbearable pain and death?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Does this mean that two ounces of prevention are worth two pounds of cure? One in three people die of cancer and we spend trillions of dollars on cancer research and cancer drugs and radiation machines and we suffer in agony for years like dogs during cancer treatments medicating and radiating ourselves and then we succumb. This is our medical and economic system. Every school child and even my aunt Jenny knows that car exhaust fumes and smokestacks are the cause of cancer. Why do not we just do away with them? What many people do not know is that electro magnetic radiation shooting out of your cell phone and computer monitor and hard drive also cause the big C.

An agoraphobic like Howard Hughes aka Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator locks himself away in his hotel suite for 6 years afraid to come out for fear of catching a germ which in his mind is a dirigible sized alien monster attacking him mercilessly. Howie Hughes sits alone in his room watching Deal or No Deal and running Trans World Airlines, Hughes Aircraft and directing Jane Russell in “The Outlaw” armed only with his cell phone and desktop computer thinking that he has successfully shielded himself from the dangers of the industrial revolution, rampant crime and viruses and bacteria which mutate into new illnesses every day. If you do not believe me then just ask the birds and killer bees and the cows. One of my favorite Hughes pictures was the “Killer Bees from Arizona” trilogy.

The obvious cure for cancer is to stop poisoning the air water and earth we are made of by doing away with cars and smoke stacks and cell phones and computers as our super brilliant pyramid and space ship building ancestors did for 5 million years but human beings don 't like it plain and simple. Tomorrowmore bloggers would never allow it. What would they do all day? Instead of riling up millions of people with their brainwashed prejudiced minds they would have to go back to simpler times and gossip among their fellow village people.

You are lying in your bed trying to go to sleep only this incredibly excruciating electrical pain is shooting from your wrists up into your arm and you are as likely to fall sleep as Jane Russell is to go on a second date with Mickey Rooney. So you go to your medicine cabinet and dope yourself up with codeine and morphine from Afghanistan provided by your doctor and your pharmacist. Heaven forbid humans should ever eliminate the root cause of their problems the economy would collapse these people would have you believe. The Huns had quite a prosperous economy not to mention the perks. So where did this unbearable wrist pain come from? Did some Barbarian sneak into your home late at night like John Mark Karr and twist your arm for you to go out on a second date with him promising that he had remedied his problem at the new naturopathic halitosis specialist who moved in two doors down from his cousin Jenny?

Picture the inside of your wrist. Your wrist is a circular bone. Inside of your wrist there is a spinal cord running from your arm to your hand. Every one of the million times a day that you hit a key on your keyboard your hand moves down and the circular wrist bone hits the wrist spinal cord. Then the wrist spinal cord get inflated and injured and the carpal tunnel person has arrived to ruin your life. The prevention and the cure is to stop your hand from moving down. You do this by going out to the store and buying two nicely fitting wrist splints with an iron bar running along the bottom which results your hand from moving down every time you hit the keys. The key to happiness in life is to eliminate all of the men. Now that we can freeze sperm and clone who needs them? They buy you a new computer, profess their undying love to you and a month later they can not remember your name. Another cool trick is to forget the proper way of typing. Begin to hunt and peck and never use your thumbs. The second that you use your thumb your hand rolls over and you are well on your way to Carpalville Ohio. It is also bad to use a roll mouse because rolling down the page leads to index finger pain which easily add 6 shots to your handicap.

Your computer monitor and hard drive and cell phone are all giving off cancer causing radiation which causes stress, irritability, erectile dysfunction and finally cancer. It is well known that cell phones cause brain cancer. The antenna placed close to your head in frying your brain. The cell phone makers know this and market their most expensive models like Carol Alt as having the least amount of radiation. If you go to the health show in your city you will find booths with people selling little metallic circular stickers which when placed on your monitor and hard drive and cell phone actually eliminate the deadly radiation. In your search engine boxes type in cell phone radiation and you will find the solution to the problem that you did not even know that you had. People think that because they can not see something like a radio signal that it does not exist. Here is a coded message to all Al Qaeda members: “Do not be fooled by the rocks that I got, I'm still Jen Jen Jenny from the block.” Osama Bin Laden is sitting in his cave grooving to the new J Lo DVD but his doctor Ayman Al Zwahiri can not do a darn thing for his carpal tunnel syndrome. All of that instant messaging with Jenna Bush as he pretends to be Professor Ernst Kirkland from the Kabul Institute of Technology has finally got up with him. What the combined forces of Britain and the United States could not do Steve Jobs has done. He has welcomed Osama Bin Laden to his knees. And those are the bees knees. Attention all CIA agents. Bees are little insects that fly around biting people.

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Magnetic Therapy Can Treat Repetitive Strain Injury – Tendonitis And Carpal Tunnel Syndromme

What is RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome?

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) occurs from repeated physical movements doing damage to tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. Occupations ranging from meatpackers to musicians have characteristic RSIs that can result from the typical tasks they perform. The rise of computer use and flat, light-touch keyboards that permit high speed typing have responded in an epic of injuries of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Use of pointing devices like mice and trackballs are as much a cause, if not more so. The thousands of repeated keystrokes and long periods of clutching and dragging with mice slowly accumulates damage to the body.

The term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is not, in itself, a medical diagnosis. It is used to describe a number of named musculoskeletal conditions (such as Tenosynovitis, Cramp of the Hand, Tendonitis, etc.) as well as 'diffuse RSI' which is more difficult to define but which recent research attributes to nerve damage. These are almost always occupied in origin. 'Repetitive Strain Injury' is a term similar to that of 'sports injury' in that it tells more about how the injury was sustained, rather than what the injury actually is. This condition refers to the tender swapping of tendons, the rope or cord like structures which connect muscles to bones in order to work the joints of the body. When any group of tendons are overused microscopic tears can result, leading to inflammation. Even a minor contracting in the muscle can then lead to further irritation.

Tendonitis more commonly affects the hand, wrist, elbows and shoulders, although it may occur at any joint in the body. Other conditions may be linked to inflammation of the tendons, such as Tenosynovitis. Tendonitis results in pain and local tenderness. The thickening and scarring may prevent the affected fingers or limbs from going through their normal range of movements. The increase in pain and disability is usually gradual, unless the injury is the result of sudden strain (tearing) or a direct blow. The most common recognizable factor is overloading the tendon through repetitive physical activity. Certain sports may cause discomfort and at work it can occur from overuse of the keyboard, computer mouse or through routine assembly line work.

The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist formed by the eight carpal (wrist) bones, which make up the floor and sides of the tunnel, and the transverse carpal ligament, a strong ligament stretching across the roof of the tunnel.

Inside the carpal tunnel are tendons which run down from the muscles in the forearm and work to flex your fingers and thumb. Also running through the tunnel is the median nerve, a cord about the size of a pencil, supplying information back to the brain about sensations you feel in your thumb, index, middle and (occasionally) ring fingers.

In carpal tunnel syndrome the median nerve gets squeezed, often because the tendons become swollen and overfill the tunnel. The median nerve within the carpal tunnel is very sensitive to pressure and so there are many possible causes including arthritis, fluid retention and diabetes. If the problem comes on during the day it is important to look for a link to regular physical activities at work or home, for example; writing, typing, using a computer mouse, DIY, housework or knitting. Repeated flexion and extension of the wrist, as is common in various work activities, can cause inflammation which puts pressure on the nerve. Work factors which can contribute to the condition include insufficient breaks and awkward posture.

Magnetic treatment of RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome.

RSI, Tendonitis and Carpal tunnel syndrome are injuries related to the stress and overload of tendons and muscles with in the body. Although most people associate them with the hand, wrist and arm, RSI can occur anywhere in the body where the is a constant repetition of an action. This type of strain injuries are usually acute in natural rather than chronic and can be treated very successfully. The predominant aim with all of these conditions is to reduce the inflammation which surrounds the strained tendons, muscles and tissues, plus renew the damaged soft tissue. Whilst conventional treatments revolve around using painkillers, rest, splints and even in some cases (carpal tunnel syndrome) surgery, magnets will work to treat the inflammation that is causing the condition to continue. Typical magnetic therapy treatments for these conditions would be:

1) RSI: Wherever the RSI is located magnets must be placed directly over the strained area. Most commonly straps or wraps are used as they also provide an element of support as well as magnetic therapy. For example RSI in the back would be treated with a back support. As RSI damage is usually limited to soft tissue, muscle and tendons results can be seen quite quickly as the magnetic field will reduce the inflammation which is pressing upon the nerve endings with in a few days (in most cases).

2) Tendonitis: Predominantly in the arm, this can be treated with straps around the injury or by using high strength magnetic jewelery. If jewelery is used on the wrist and the injury is in the elbow or upper arm then the strength of the jewelery must be strong enough to allow the magnetic field to penetrate all the way to the injury. As previously discussed a magnetic field weakens as it moves away from the magnetic source. For this reason the jewelery should be at least 2,000 gauss / 200 m Tesla per magnet.

3) Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is always located in the wrist and is very easy to handle with a wrist support or a magnetic bracelet. As with all conditions the magnets must be worn day and night to be of most benefit, this is particularly important with Carpal tunnel syndrome as most of the symptoms occur during the night time (pins and needles, cramp, numbness, swelling).

All three of these alimities are very painful and limit the mobility of the area that is affected, but they do not have an underlying disease process such as arthritis or osteoporosis. The damage occurs as a result of tasks which the sufferer does on a daily basis. This means that once the symptoms have been resolved the condition is, in effect, 'cured' in such that it will not reappear until the repetition has again been performed a significant number of times to cause the condition to reappear. As a result once the injury has been resolved sufferers can go for long periods of time with out any symptoms and when symptoms do start to reoccur the immediate application of magnets will resolve the pain very quickly.

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Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the only treatment that reduces Carpal Tunnel syndrome effectively within minimum time. Carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS] is a natural injury caused by a mysterious pinched nerve in the wrist. This often results in growing pain and numbness in the index fingers, middle fingers and weakness of the thumb. The very disease “carpal tunnel syndrome” derives its name from organs called “carpals” in the hand that forms a tunnel in the body through which the nerve leads on to the extended hands.

Carpal tunnel syndrome explanations suggest that numbness in the thumbs and the first two fingers results from a disorder caused in the median nerve. Sometimes due to some natural obstacles, the median nerve gets acutely trapped in a channel near the wrist called “carpal tunnel”. The disease is also characterized by pain extending up to the forearm, coldness in the fingers and a paralysis sensation in the hands and arms. This syndrome is more common among doctors as “pins and needles paresthesias” also sometimes called as “dysesthesia” which means an unpleasure sensation.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include frequent irritation in the hands. However, following are the other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:

1. Feeling of paralysis in the hands and fingers

2. Both daytime and nighttime painful tingling of hands followed by reduced ability to squeeze almost anything

3. Fingers get swollen suddenly

4. Loss of strength in the muscle at the base of the thumb near palm

5. Pain shooting rapidly from your hand up to the arms and even to the shoulder

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatments

Acupuncture detox carpal tunnel syndrome so it is very essential for treating CTS. It restores normal nerve functions and provides long-term relief from pain and irritation associated with CTS. The acupuncturist practitioners insert needles on those points along the meridians where “qi” or energy gets blocked. For farming CTS, the insertions are mainly done in the meridians located along the liver, kidney and gall bladder. These points are stimulated by traditional needle insertions, and heat / pressure applications. Once the stored energy starts getting distributed, CTS gets cured faster.

To reduce carpal tunnel syndrome you can also use various medicinal herbs in between the acupuncture sessions. You can use rivers like cramp bark [Viburnum opulus], St. John's wort [Hypericum perforatum] and wild yam [Dioscorea villosa]. These herbs are available as dried extracts [pills, tablets and capsules], tinctures [alcohol extraction] and teas. Mix them in a cup of tea and have it three times a day to experience faster cures.

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Hand Pain Can Disappear

Are you in pain every time you touch a keyboard? Does your pain level increase on a daily basis? Do you want to scream in pain while working? Do you think you will not make it until the end of the day? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, read on.

Working on a daily basis can be a real hassle. Setting our alarm clocks and rolling out of bed is stress enough. If we are like most Americans we take our daily suitcase trip down the freeway. When we arrive at our work place we are already stressed and ready to pack it in and start for home.

When you mix your stress level and pain level together it does not make for an enjoyable work day.

What can we do about this? We can take small steps. Taking small steps is how we all learned how to walk. In order to cur our hand pain we can start with a small idea that can lead to monumental results.

You can place a pad underneath your keyboard. It cushions your hands and arms and your pain will disappear or greatly diminish.

This is a baby step that work. This pad can be used at work as well as in your home workplace.

When your hands are happy you are happy and your family will be happy. They will not have to listen to you tell them about how much pain you are in on a daily basis.

Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to read any of my numerous articles.

Copyright 2006 Linda E. Meckler

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