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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One of the Little known Causes of Headaches

Posted August 15, 2017 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Your Sleeping Position May Be Causing Your Headaches!

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 

Can sleeping position be one of the causes of headaches?  

A Sleeping position that has your head tilted puts pressure on your spinal cord and will cause headaches. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times, and the reasoning is so logical it’s easy to understand.

causes of headachesYour spinal cord runs from your brain, through each of your vertebrae, down your arms and legs. Nerves pass out of the vertebrae and go to every cell in your body, including each of your organs. When you are sleeping it is important to keep your head, neck, and spine in a horizontal plane so you aren’t straining the muscles that insert into your vertebrae.

The graphic above is a close-up of your skull and the cervical (neck) vertebrae. Your nerves are shown in yellow, and your artery is shown in red.  Consider what happens if you hold your head to one side for hours. You can notice that the nerves and artery will likely be press upon. Also, since your spinal cord comes down the inside of the vertebrae, it will also be impinged.

In 2004 the Archives of Internal Medicine published an article stating that 1 out of 13 people have morning headaches. It’s interesting to note that the article never mentions the spinal cord being impinged by the vertebrae. That’s a major oversight!

Muscles merge into tendons, and the tendons insert into the bone.  As you stayed in the tilted position for hours, the muscles actually shortened to the new length.  Then you try to turn over, but the short muscles are holding your cervical vertebrae tightly, and they can’t lengthen.

The weight of your head pulls on the vertebrae, putting even more pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.  Plus, the tight muscles are pulling on the bones, causing pain on the bone.

Your Pillow is Involved in Your Sleeping Position and the Causes of  Headaches

sleep left side

The analogy I always use is; just as pulling your hair hurts your scalp, the muscle pulling on the tendons hurts the bone where it inserts.  In this case it is your neck muscles putting a strain on your cervical bones.  For example, if you sleep on your left side and your pillow is too thick, your head will be tilted up toward the ceiling. This position tightens the muscles on the right side of your neck.

sleeping in car and desk

Dozing off while sitting in a car waiting for someone to arrive, or while working for hours at your desk can also horizontal line sleepcause headaches. The pictures above show a strain on the neck when you fall asleep without any support on your neck. Both of these people will wake up with a headache, and with stiffness in their neck.

The best sleeping position to prevent headaches is to have your pillow adjusted so your head, neck, and spine are in a horizontal line. Play with your pillows, putting two thin pillows into one case if necessary. If your pillow is too thick try to open up a corner and pull out some of the stuffing.

 

sleeping on stomachSleeping on Your Back & Stomach

If you sleep on your back and have your head on the mattress, your spine is straight. All you need is a little neck pillow for support, and a pillow under your knees.

Stomach sleeping is the worst sleeping position for not only headaches, but so many other aches and pains. It’s a tough habit to break, but it can be done. This sleeping position deserves its own blog, which I will do in the future.

 

Treating the Muscles That Cause Headaches

sleeping position causes of headachesAll of the muscles that originate or insert into your cervical vertebrae, and many that insert into your shoulder and upper back, need to be treated.  The treatments are all taught in Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living, in the neck and shoulder chapters.  Here is one treatment that will help you get relief.

Take either a tennis ball or the Perfect Ball (which really is Perfect because it has a solid center and soft outside) and press into your shoulder as shown.  You are treating a muscle called Levator Scapulae which pulls your cervical vertebrae out of alignment when it is tight.

Hold the press for about 30 seconds, release, and then press again.

Your pillow is a key to neck pain and headaches caused by your sleeping position.  It’s worth the time and energy to investigate how you sleep and correct your pillow.  I believe this blog will help you find the solution and will insure you have restful sleep each night.

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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