Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Carpal Tunnel Treatment, What Causes Carpal Tunnel

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Part 2

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

carpal tunnel syndromeThis month we will discuss treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.  However, let’s recap a little.

In last month’s article “What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” – Part 1 I shared how carpal tunnel syndrome almost destroyed my career as a massage therapist. I also shared that I rejected surgery and drew on all of my knowledge to devise a self-treatment program that cured my carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.

Last month, I discussed the muscles and nerves in your neck, chest, and upper arm, and how they impinge on the median nerve and refer burning and tingling into your wrist and hand.  This month the muscles we are discussing not only will cause burning and tingling, but will also cause pain in your wrist and hand.  Plus, these muscles will put a strain on your carpal tunnel and will impinge on the nerve as it travels through your carpal tunnel. Fortunately, a simple treatment will release the tight muscles and take the pressure off the nerve.

I found the solution to my problem, and I’ve been bringing it to people worldwide ever since.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Forearm and Hand

best treatment for carpal tunnel syndromeThe muscles on the top of your arm (B) are called the Extensors.

Your extensors originate at your elbow and insert into the carpal bones (back of your hand) and into your fingertips.

Your Flexor muscles (A) are on the underside of your forearm.

The flexors also originate at your elbow, they come down your forearm and merge into the tendon at your wrist. The tendons then go through your carpal tunnel and then insert into your hand and fingers.

When your hand is flat on a table and your extensors start to contract, you lift up your hand (B). But you can see that the flexors (A) on the underside of your forearm will need to lengthen to allow this movement.

flexor muscles demoWhen your flexors  are tight (commonly from repetitive movements), they won’t lengthen to allow your extensors  to pick up your hand, and the taut flexor tendons may trap your median nerve in your carpal tunnel. This is a major cause of carpal tunnel syndrome because the nerve is being trapped right in the carpal tunnel. It was one of the primary keys to my symptoms, and an important part of the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Why Muscle Tendons Cause Numbness In Your Fingers

As you look at this graphic you’ll see the flexor tendons surrounding the median nerve as they all pass through the carpal tunnel.  Also, notice the carpal bones, which are where the extensor muscles attach.  Finally,  look at the thumb muscle called Opponens Pollicis .  This muscle originates on the bridge to the carpal tunnel (called the Flexor Retinaculum), and when the muscle contracts you bring your thumb into the center of your palm.

The flexor retinaculum  is the ligament that is severed during carpal tunnel release surgery.  As you look at how close the median nerve is to the flexor retinaculum, you can see where a potential surgical mistake could sever the nerve. This accident disables the hand and isn’t reversible. Also, severing the flexor retinaculum means your thumb loses its base, and you lose strength.

This is the reason I refused surgery and sought a different carpal tunnel treatment.

elbow stretchingAs I studied each muscle and saw how they each impacted the median nerve, I realized that if I released the spasms in each muscle that it would take the pressure off the nerve.  And, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!

It took me about 90 minutes to figure this out (it will only take you 15 minutes to do all of the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome  to yourself), but in just that short amount of time I released ALL of the pain and numbness in my hand and wrist.  I was beyond being thrilled — I saved my career!

Eventually I figured out how to put this entire process into my Basic Self-Treatment System DVD program  to teach people all over the world how to eliminate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. I even developed a specialized tool to help people get the correct pressure and focus for each spasm.

A Simple Treatment for Carpal Tunnel  Syndrome For Your Thumb

(Pictures and description are excerpts from The Julstro System for Hand/Wrist Pain and Numbness in my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Book)

elbow carpal tunnel exercisesTo release the spasms in your thumb muscle, place your opposite elbow into the thick portion of your thumb as shown in the picture to the left.

Step 2:

Use your fingertips to guide your elbow along the muscle.  Move your elbow in a line from the center of your wrist to the base of your thumb.

Use sufficient pressure to really feel the muscle and the tender points which are spasms in the muscle fibers.

When you find a spasm, hold the pressure for 30 seconds and then deeply move back and forth a little bit.

If you are experiencing hand/wrist pain or numbness, before you make the decision to go for surgery it is worthwhile to read everything you can about muscles, numb fingers, and carpal tunnel pain relief in my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome book. You can’t undo surgery!  So, try the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated here.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

 

julie donnelly

About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and

sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

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 (1)

  • Diane McLauchlan

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    I had a equine massage therapist work on me several years ago, it worked great!
    Diane

    Reply

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Latest Article

How to Choose the Right Pillow

Posted April 17, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Wake Up Each Morning Pain Free

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 

how to choose the right pillow without headachesThe way you sleep is often a key to discovering the cause of headaches and more. If you wake up with neck pain, a headache, or you suffer from ringing in your ears, dizziness, or ear pain, there is a good possibility that it may be caused by the way you are sleeping. Your pillow may be the culprit.  But if you need to know how to choose the right pillow for you, it’s easy.   It just takes a little “investigation.”

 

How to Choose the Right Pillow if You Sleep On Your Side

Your head, neck, and spine need to always stay in a nice straight line, just as it is when you are standing up, but that takes a little thought and understanding of the way you sleep.  So, get comfy in your bed and then notice how your head is resting.

how to choose the right pillow to sleep painfreeIf you sleep on your side, your pillow needs to be just the right size, so your head doesn’t point down toward the mattress (your pillow is too soft) or up to the ceiling (your pillow is too thick). Either of these positions will make the muscles on the side of your neck stay in the contracted position for hours and pull your vertebrae in that direction, especially when you try to turn over to your other side.

Your SCM Muscle May Cause Serious Problems

You also need to notice if you turn your head a bit, especially if you are turning into your pillow or turning your head up toward away from your pillow. In either of these two cases you will be causing your sternocleidomastoid (SCM for short) to be held shortened for hours.

Your SCM originates on your collarbone and inserts into the bone behind your ear.  When it contracts you turn your head to the opposite side. However, if the muscle is tight (for example, when you’ve held your head turned toward one side for an extended period of time) and then you bring your head back so you are facing forward, the tight muscle will pull on the bone behind your ear and cause havoc.

The symptoms for a tight SCM are tinnitus (ringing in the ear), dizziness, loss of equilibrium, ear pain, headaches, pain in the eye and around the skull, pain at the top of the head, and even pain in the throat. Amazing! What’s even more amazing is that it’s rare that this muscle is considered when a medical professional is searching for the cause of your symptoms.

These are the things to know when considering how to choose the right pillow if you sleep on your side.

How To Choose The Right Pillow If You Sleep On Your Back

how to choose the right pillow for sleeping on your backIf you sleep on your back, your head should be on the mattress (not propped up with a pillow) and you should have a tiny support (like a folded washcloth) under your neck.  Or, you can have a wedge pillow that starts at your mid-back and gently raises your entire trunk and head up while still allowing your head and back to be in a straight line.

It’s always a challenge for people who toss and turn during the night, sometimes on their side and sometimes on their back.  The best thing I’ve found for this situation is to have the pillow below shoulder level so when you turn on your side your shoulder will automatically slide to the edge of the pillow while still supporting your head properly, and when you turn onto your back, the pillow will start at shoulder level so your head and neck are supported, but your head is being pushed in a way that causes your chin to move down to your chest.

hip pain causes and treatment pain freeIt’s tricky, but I can personally attest to the fact that it will work.  I can always tell when I’ve had my head tilted (I toss and turn during the night) because I will wake with a headache. When that happens I’m grateful that I know how to self-treat the muscles of my neck and shoulders so the headache is eliminated quickly.  If you already have Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living,  you can self-treat all your neck and shoulder muscles to release the tension.

How To Choose The Right Pillow If You Sleep On Your Stomach

If you sleep on your stomach, this is the one position that is so bad that it behooves you to force yourself to change your position. Your head is turned to the side and held still for hours, putting a severe strain on all your cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. Not only will this cause headaches, tinnitus, and a list of other pains, but it can cause problems down your entire spine. It can also impinge on the nerves that pass through the vertebrae on their way to your organs.

If you do sleep that way, let me know and I’ll give you some suggestions that work to change your habit of sleeping. It takes time and energy, but the results are worth the effort.

In every case, the way you sleep may cause neck pain that won’t go away until the pillow situation is resolved.

Now you should know how to choose the right pillow for the way you sleep.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

About The Author

julie donnelly

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

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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