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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

CTS is an irritation of the median nerve as it passes through the groove (tunnel) between the carpal (hand) bones. Spanning over the tunnel is the transverse carpal ligament that. When the tissues become inflamed with overuse, the swelling (edema) creates pressure within the tunnel, thus putting pressure on the median nerve. Symptoms of median nerve irritation are numbness, tingling and pain from the wrist to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. The difficulty with this condition is that it is hard to eliminate using the hand and wrist because the overuse creating the initial problem is usually from a job situation where the hands and wrist is used over and over such a clerical or assembly line job. In severe persistent cases surgery to release the transverse carpal ligament is performed. However, prior to that stage, there are treatments that you can try and ones that I use on my patients.

1. Start with ice 10-15 minutes for ice or cold pack on the wrist. If you can’t tolerate the cold use a cooling cream such as Sombra cooling gel.

2. Prior to using the Medimassager body unit I prefer to use a soothing therapeutic oil such as lavender or vanilla.

3. Begin using the MEDImassager body massager on a low setting for the first minute or two. Then slowly bring up the speed to the most comfortable setting or where it feels the best to you. Use the massager upside down with your wrist on the pad as shown in the Techniques section. I recommend not more than 5-10 minutes for the wrist.

4. Then I usually apply some Biofreeze lotion to cool the area and take some pain away.

5. Next I recommend mild stretch. There is a unique stretch that I show my patients. If you stand at the kitchen counter with a thin towel or placemat on the counter, place your wrist down and you will feel the bony structures on either side of the carpal tunnel as you put some mild pressure down on your wrist. Using your opposite hand over the back of the affected hand, push down slowly which puts more pressure on the bones on either side of the tunnel. What this accomplishes is a stretching of the transverse carpal ligament, thus creating a little more space in the tunnel. If you need a more illustrative explanation, you can email me at carl@medimessager.com.

6. A wrist resting brace or splint is a very good way to relieve some of the discomfort and the one I recommend below is excellent

7. I often recommend TENS units to patients which are excellent for blocking pain. The unit that I recommend below is well worth the money as it is not one of the cheap units you can get for very little cost. This is one time that the old adage, you get what you pay for is appropriate! If you need a more illustrative explanation, you can email me at carl@medimessager.com

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