Stop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain Naturally

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Issues, Muscle Therapy and Health

Five Stretches That Relieve the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT

Carpal Tunnel SyndromeHave you ever said in a half-joking voice, “I never felt these aches and pains before, I must be getting old?”  You aren’t getting old. You are just experiencing the results of repetitive strain injury to the muscles that you use every day.

When you use a muscle in the same manner over and over it eventually shortens.  However it is still attached to the same place and the now-shorter muscle pulls on the insertion point until it hurts.  The taut muscle can pull so hard that the joint can’t even move freely!

Perhaps you’ve been told that you have bursitis or tendonitis, when the only thing that’s happening is a muscle is pulling hard on a joint.  If the pain is in your wrist or you have numbness in your fingers you may even be told that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, and too often this will lead to unnecessary surgery or a long series of potentially dangerous drugs to stop the pain.

Whether the repetitive strain is caused by your job, your sport, or you simply overuse your hands by doing the same repetitive motion for hours at a time, hand and wrist pain can stop you short!  The pain of repetitive strain injuries can ruin the quality of your life.

Current Treatments for Hand and Wrist Pain and Numbness

Until now the initial treatments for hand and wrist pain and numbness were:

  • Wear a brace
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Stop the repetitive motion, even if it is caused by your job
  • Go for hours of physical therapy

If unsuccessful you will be told that you need a surgical procedure that has a 50/50 chance of success and may have serious side effects. Those are not good odds, especially when it means that the negative result could have serious impact on your daily life and may even end your career!

The good news is that 95% of wrist pain and numb fingers is actually caused by tension and small knots in the muscles from your neck and shoulder, all the way down your arm and into your hand.  Release the tight muscles, and the pressure is removed from your nerve and your wrist.

Stop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain Naturally

Five Exercises You Can Do At Home to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  1. Open your fingers up wide, really stretching out your hand and then rotate your wrists in large circles.  You will feel the stretch in your hands and your forearms.
  1. Stretch your forearm muscles by holding your arm straight out, putting your flat hand so it is pointing up, and then taking your opposite hand to pull it back.  Then reverse the movement by bending your wrist so your flat hand is pointing down and using your opposite hand to enhance the bend.
  1. Roll your shoulders in a circle going up and back.
  1. Lean your head back so you are looking at the ceiling, than slightly turn so your cheekbone is facing the ceiling.  Feel the stretch along the side of your neck.
  1. Pull your shoulders all the way down toward the floor while tilting your head to the side.  You’ll get an even better stretch by then slightly turning your head in several directions.

If you stretch your muscles frequently, you’ll be amazed at the relief you will feel.  Plus, you’ll have better flexibility and more strength.

The good news is that you can also learn how to self-treat each of the muscles that cause hand/wrist pain and numbness.  You have excellent options before even considering drugs that have potential dangerous side-effect, or surgery that causes scar tissue in your wrist.  It’s worthwhile to explore all of your options so you can get back to living your life to its fullest – without pain.

© Julie Donnelly 2013

Julie Donnelly, LMT is a recognized authority in repetitive strain and sports injuries, chronic pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Author of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You and Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living and a series of Stop Pain FAST! books that focus on separate conditions.

Julie is the developer of the breakthrough consumer product The Julstro Self Treatment System for Repetitive Strain Injuries of the Hand and Wrist. She lectures and teaches self-treatment workshops worldwide.

Visit: http://www.CarpalTunnelResults.com and http://www.julstro.com for more information about repetitive strain injuries.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Comments (8)

  • Lorraine Beattie

    |

    Love your articles! However your links to foot and hip pain did not work. : (

    Reply

  • Carol

    |

    I found this very interesting, I do some of these stretches in Yoga, but I am going to try these However, I could not download the ebook or the Issues. Any suggestions.

    Reply

    • Dr. Steve Chaney

      |

      Dear Carol,
      That particular website is run by Julie Donnely, not me. If you are having trouble with the eBooks try the “Contact Us” page on http://www.julstro.com.
      Dr. Chaney

      Reply

  • Judie Fisk

    |

    I spend a lot of time on the computer. For awhile, I have had pain in my wrist, and I have been concerned about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thank you for this article. I will begin the exercises!

    Reply

  • Jacky Manchester

    |

    My carpal tunnel syndrome was cured with 100 days of 100 mg of vitamin B6. Dr. John Marion Ellis wrote a book, Free of Pain, and he studied hands for 20 yrs and saw marvelous cures with this simple, and cheap remedy. I didn’t know about the exercises and I will do them just because I want to stay flexible, I am 77 yrs old, and do not want to get stiff. thank you for your article, I hope you will read the book, it is full of scientific research and many can benefit from it.

    Reply

    • Dr. Steve Chaney

      |

      Dear Jacky,
      I am aware that high doses of B6 can work wonders for carpal tunnel syndrome for some people. My only caution is that 100 mg of B6 is a pharmacologic dose. It can cause side effects, presumably because it is so out of balance with the other B vitamins. I personally recommend that very high doses of B6 only be taken under the supervision of a physician, so they can monitor for side effects. I also recommend that a balanced B complex supplement be taken along with the B6.
      Dr. Chaney

      Reply

  • Julius

    |

    Useful info. Fortunate mee I found your website by chance, and I’m shocked why this coincidence didn’t toook place earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

    Reply

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Latest Article

A Low Carb Diet and Weight Loss

Posted January 15, 2019 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

 

low carb dietTraditional diets have been based on counting calories, but are all calories equal? Low-carb enthusiasts have long claimed that diets high in sugar and refined carbs cause obesity. Their hypothesis is based on the fact that high blood sugar levels cause a spike in insulin levels, and insulin promotes fat storage.

The problem is that there has been scant evidence to support that hypothesis. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of 32 published clinical studies (KD Hall and J Guo, Gastroenterology, 152: 1718-1727, 2017 ) concluded that low-fat diets resulted in a higher metabolic rate and greater fat loss than isocaloric low-carbohydrate diets.

However, low-carb enthusiasts persisted. They argued that the studies included in the meta-analysis were too short to adequately measure the metabolic effects of a low-carb diet. Recently, a study has been published in the British Medical Journal (CB Ebbeling et al, BMJ 2018, 363:k4583 ) that appears to vindicate their position.

Are low carb diets best for long term weight loss?

Low-carb enthusiasts claim the study conclusively shows that low-carb diets are best for losing weight and for keeping it off once you have lost it. They are saying that it is time to shift away from counting calories and from promoting low-fat diets and focus on low-carb diets instead if we wish to solve the obesity epidemic. In this article I will focus on three issues:

  • How good was the study?
  • What were its limitations?
  • Are the claims justified?

 

How Was The Study Designed?

low carb diet studyThe investigators started with 234 overweight adults (30% male, 78% white, average age 40, BMI 32) recruited from the campus of Framingham State University in Massachusetts. All participants were put on a diet that restricted calories to 60% of estimated needs for 10 weeks. The diet consisted of 45% of calories from carbohydrate, 30% from fat, and 25% from protein. [So much for the claim that the study showed low-carb diets were more effective for weight loss. The diet used for the weight loss portion of the diet was not low-carb.]

During the initial phase of the study 161 of the participants achieved 10% weight loss. These participants were randomly divided into 3 groups for the weight maintenance phase of the study.

  • The diet composition of the high-carb group was 60% carbohydrate, 20% fat, and 20% protein.
  • The diet composition of the moderate-carb group was 40% carbohydrate, 40% fat, and 20% protein.
  • The diet composition of the low-carb group was 20% carbohydrate, 60% fat, and 20% protein.

Other important characteristics of the study were:

  • The weight maintenance portion of the study lasted 5 months – much longer than any previous study.
  • All meals were designed by dietitians and prepared by a commercial food service. The meals were either served in a cafeteria or packaged to be taken home by the participants.
  • The caloric content of the meals was individually adjusted on a weekly basis so that weight was kept within a ± 4-pound range during the 5-month maintenance phase.
  • Sugar, saturated fat, and sodium were limited and kept relatively constant among the 3 diets.

120 participants made it through the 5-month maintenance phase.

 

Do Low-Carb Diets Help Maintain Weight Loss?

low carb diet maintain weight lossThe results were striking:

  • The low-carb group burned an additional 278 calories/day compared to the high-carb group and 131 calories/day more than the moderate-carbohydrate group.
  • These differences were even higher for those individuals with higher insulin secretion at the beginning of the maintenance phase of the study.
  • These differences lead the authors to hypothesize that low-carb diets might be more effective for weight maintenance than other diets.

 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of This Study?

low carb diet pros and consThis was a very well-done study. In fact, it is the most ambitious and well-controlled study of its kind. However, like any other clinical study, it has its limitations. It also needs to be repeated.

The pros of the study are obvious. It was a long study and the dietary intake of the participants was tightly controlled.

As for cons, here are the three limitations of the study listed by the authors:

#1: Potential Measurement Error: This section of the paper was a highly technical consideration of the method used to measure energy expenditure. Suffice it to say that the method they used to measure calories burned per day may overestimate calories burned in the low-carb group. That, of course, would invalidate the major findings of the study. It is unlikely, but it is why the study needs to be repeated using a different measure of energy expenditure.

#2: Compliance: Although the participants were provided with all their meals, there was no way of being sure they ate them. There was also no way of knowing whether they may have eaten other foods in addition to the food they were provided. Again, this is unlikely, but cannot be eliminated from consideration.

#3: Generalizability: This is simply an acknowledgement that the greatest strength of this study is also its greatest weakness. The authors acknowledged that their study was conducted in such a tightly controlled manner it is difficult to translate their findings to the real world. For example:

  • Sugar and saturated fat were restricted and were at very similar levels in all 3 diets. In the real world, people consuming a high-carb diet are likely to consume more sugar than people in the other diet groups. Similarly, people consuming the low-carb diet are likely to consume more saturated fat than people in the other diet groups.
  • Weight was kept constant in the weight maintenance phase by constantly adjusting caloric intake. Unfortunately, this seldom happens in the real world. Most people gain weight once they go off their diet – and this is just as true with low-carb diets as with other diets.
  • The participants had access to dietitian-designed prepared meals 3 times a day for 5 months. This almost never happens in the real world. The authors said “…these results [their data] must be reconciled with the long-term weight loss trials relying on nutrition education and behavioral counseling that find only a small advantage for low carbohydrate compared with low fat diets according to several recent meta-analyses.” [I would add that in the real world, people do not even have access to nutritional education and behavioral modification.]

 

low carb diet and youWhat Does This Study Mean For You?

  • This study shows that under very tightly controlled conditions (dietitian-prepared meals, sugar and saturated fat limited to healthy levels, calories continually adjusted so that weight remains constant) a low-carb diet burns more calories per day than a moderate-carb or high-carb diet. These findings show that it is theoretically possible to increase your metabolic weight and successfully maintain a healthy weight on a low-carb diet. These are the headlines you probably saw. However, a careful reading of the study provides a much more nuanced viewpoint. For example, the fact that the study conditions were so tightly controlled makes it difficult to translate these findings to the real world.
  • In fact, the authors of the study acknowledged that multiple clinical studies show this almost never happens in the real world. These studies show that most people regain the weight they have lost on low-carb diets. More importantly, the rate of weight regain is virtually identical on low-carb and low-fat diets. Consequently, the authors of the current study concluded “…translation [of their results to the real world] requires exploration in future mechanistic oriented research.” Simply put, the authors are saying that more research is needed to provide a mechanistic explanation for this discrepancy before one can make recommendations that are relevant to weight loss and weight maintenance in the real world.
  • The authors also discussed the results of their study in light of a recent, well-designed 12-month study (CD Gardener et al, JAMA, 319: 667-669, 2018 ) that showed no difference in weight change between a healthy low-fat versus a healthy low-carbohydrate diet. That study also reported that the results were unaffected by insulin secretion at baseline. The authors of the current study noted that “…[in the previous study] participants were instructed to minimize or eliminate refined grains and added sugars and maximize intake of vegetables. Probably for this reason, the reported glycemic load [effect of the diet on blood sugar levels] of the low-fat diet was very low…and similar to [the low-carb diet].” In short, the authors of the current study were acknowledging that diets which focus on healthy, plant-based carbohydrates and eliminate sugar, refined grains, and processed foods may be as effective as low-carb diets for helping maintain a healthy weight.
  • This would also be consistent with previous studies showing that primarily plant-based, low-carb diets are more effective at maintaining a healthy weight and better health outcomes long-term than the typical American version of the low-fat diet, which is high in sugar and refined grains. In contrast, meat-based, low-carb diets are no more effective than the American version of the low-fat diet at preventing weight gain and poor health outcomes. I have covered these studies in detail in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

Consequently, the lead author of the most recent study has said: “The findings [of this study] do not impugn whole fruits, beans and other unprocessed carbohydrates. Rather, the study suggests that reducing foods with added sugar, flour, and other refined carbohydrates could help people maintain weight loss….” This is something we all can agree on, but strangely this is not reflected in the headlines you may have seen in the media.

The Bottom Line

 

  • A recent study compared the calories burned per day on a low-carb, moderate-carb, and high-carb diet. The study concluded that the low-carb diet burned significantly more calories per day than the other two diets and might be suitable for long-term weight control. If confirmed by subsequent studies, this would be the first real evidence that low-carb diets are superior for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • However, the study has some major limitations. For example, it used a methodology that may overestimate the benefits of a low-carb diet, and it was performed under tightly controlled conditions that can never be duplicated in the real world. As acknowledged by the authors, this study is also contradicted by multiple previous studies. Further studies will be required to confirm the results of this study and show how it can be applied in the real world.
  • In addition, the kind of carbohydrate in the diet is every bit as important as the amount of carbohydrate. The authors acknowledge that the differences seen in their study apply mainly to carbohydrates from sugar, refined grains, and processed foods. They advocate diets with low glycemic load (small effects on blood sugar and insulin levels) and acknowledge this can also be achieved by incorporating low-glycemic load, plant-based carbohydrates into your diet. This is something we all can agree on, but strangely this is not reflected in the headlines you may have seen in the media.
  • Finally, clinical studies report averages, but none of us are average. When you examine the data from the current study, it is evident that some participants burned more calories per hour on the high-carb diet than other participants did on the low carb diet. That reinforces the observation that some people lose weight more effectively on low-carb diets while others lose weight more effectively on low-fat diets. If you are someone who does better on a low-carb diet, the best available evidence suggests you will have better long-term health outcomes on a primarily plant-based, low-carb diet such as the low-carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

For more details read the article above.

 

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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