Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information

Repetitive and excessive movement in the arms, hands, or wrist can lead to injury called CTS or carpal tunnel syndrome. Undetected, the injury can become a chronic condition. Of the entrapment neuropathies, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most commonly diagnosed and is becoming an increasing concern in workplace ergonomics. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is often thought of as a condition spun from hours of keyboard typing, it’s actually associated with many other causes that places pressure on the median nerve.

 

 

 

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome



Wrist Anatomy

The carpal tunnel is a passageway inside the hand that’s comprised of eight arching carpal (wrist) bones and the connecting ligament. Passing through this tunnel are eight tendons connecting the fingers to forearm muscles and the median nerve. The median nerve is responsible for controlling the sensation to the palm side of the hand and fingers, with the exception of the pinky finger. It also controls impulses to hand muscles allowing movement of the fingers and thumb.

Thickening or irritation from swelling of tendons and other nearby structures can narrow the tunnel and cause medial nerve compression at the wrist. This happening can lead to numbness, weakness of the hand and wrist, and radiating finger pain.

When the median nerve compression is chronic, it’s continually constricted and pushed into the ligament above it. At this point, the nerve and surrounding muscle tissue can gradually deteriorate and result in severe loss of finger sensation and muscle function.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

Any condition that creates pressure on the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

* Certain diseases (such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis) and fluid retention during pregnancy can limit the amount of space in the tunnel and put pressure on the median nerve.

* Amyloidosis, leukemia, sarcoidosis, and multiple myeloma can cause the deposit of abnormal substances around the tunnel, thereby limiting the amount of space and irritating the median nerve.

* Repetitive stress injury from constantly flexing and extending the tendons in the hands and wrists over prolonged uninterrupted periods of time, such as in computer or assembly line work, is a common causative factor.

* Traumatic injury to the wrist can cause swelling that creates pressure on the median nerve.

* There may also be certain physical characteristics, such as a narrow tunnel, that could predispose a person to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms may appear suddenly, but in most cases the symptoms will begin gradually with a frequent tingling, numb feeling, itching, or burning sensation in the palm and fingers of the hand. This is often described by patients as a their hand feeling asleep and useless. The fingers may feel swollen, without any visible edema. Since many people commonly sleep with their wrist flexed, symptoms may first appear at night or directly after waking up. Eventually, the numbness may last throughout the day, gripping may become difficult, pain may radiate from the wrist to the shoulder, and the wrist may become extremely weak.

 

Strengthening Exercises

These Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the wrist because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured wrist, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured wrist as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the wrist, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the wrist, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the wrist can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your wrist to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the wrist. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your wrist with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your wrist that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your wrist may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your wrist you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the wrist, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your wrist with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your wrist with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. The Sinew Relaxing Soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your wrist. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.