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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High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

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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