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Carpal tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Motion: The Body Is Designed to Move     1st Posture Principle

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) usually begins with occasional hand and wrist numbness. Most people ignore CTS when it is in its early stages. Over time, the numbness persists and turns into pain and hand weakness.

carpel tunnel syndrome and cumputersCarpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is not a disease but a musculoskeletal disorder brought on by overworked muscles in the neck, shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand.  Constant repetitions of a specific motion, be it micro-movements (like working with a computer mouse or keyboard) or isometric contractions (such as holding a pencil), can cause muscles in the arm to become sore and fatigued. As muscles tire, the tightness of the tendons and muscles pull on the elbow joint.

The increased pressure on the elbow joint causes a misalignment of the elbow. This, in turn, spreads the bones of the forearm (the Radius and the Ulna) apart at the wrist. While experts continue to debate the causes of “carpal tunnel syndrome”—and even whether such a thing exists—no one can dismiss the shooting pain in hands, wrists, and forearms that plagues office, computer and factory assembly line workers.  Athletes might suffer from “tennis elbow” or "golf elbow", but people at risk for CTS is anyone who performs a repetitive hand motion frequently.  Why are our upper extremities so susceptible?

Part of the answer is obvious: because you use your hands and the joints in your arms all day in everything you do.  The rest of the answer might surprise you-

carpel tunnel and exerciseA big part of the reason for wrist or hand ( as well as upper extremity pain in general) is not because of what you do—it’s because of what you don’t do.  You don’t move your fingers, hands, wrists, and arms through the whole range of motion they’re capable of.  Our fingers remained curled all day while typing, gripping the steering wheel, clutching your cell phone, and so on.   How many times do you rotate your wrists and bring them back toward your forearm?  Even if you go to the gym regularly, do you work your triceps nearly as much as your biceps?  And since the nerves which control the upper extremities begin in the neck, posture and structure distortions in the neck caused by chronic poor posture or old trauma often compress the nerves traveling to the hand. Hand and wrist pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness of grip can result. In posture and body mechanics, if you don't use it you lose it.

Early detection and treatment is important. Since different people have different pain thresholds, it's best to be screened by a trained professional.


chiropratic treament of carpal tunnel syndromeConsider a doctor of chiropractic to help determine if a problem is on its way to CTS, a neck problem, or a temporary, mild ache from overuse.  Many people with chronic problems find adjustments and daily posture exercise are the best way to relieve pain and stay active.   See Upper Extremity Posture Problems; Postural Neck Pain

A combination of structural realignment and massage therapy has proven to alleviate the pain and prevent further deterioration.

By concentrating on all the muscles and tendons involved, the massage therapist may break up the pain pattern and bring enormous relief to the sufferer of CTS.

Massage therapists are trained to work with pain patterns using various techniques to release muscle tension, reduce inflammation and assist the body in repairing damaged tissues.

Ice and heat may be used to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Stretching and resistance exercise also help strengthen and relax sore or weak muscles.

 

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