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Pain Relief for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Body Region: Carpal Tunnel
Conditions Associated with TPs: Hand, wrist sprain/strain
General Symptoms: Hand, wrist and forearm pain. Grip weakness
Common Causal Activities: Overuse or Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). Most common types of activities are typing or computer work, repeated hand tool use or keyboard mouse work. The classic scenario is using a screwdriver but it should be computer use.
Anatomy Picture:

Finger_FlexorsFinger_Posterior

Finger Extensors (opening hand) . . . . . . . ..Flexors (closing hand)

Self Care: Single flat thumb or finger pressure or thumb and finger pinching or squeezing works well.
Therapist Care: Same as self care. Usually a double flat thumb press works well when gripping the forearm in both hands.
Special Notes:

Carpal Tunnel is a very special problem where the ligament stretching across the palm side of the wrist, which forms a tunnel through which nerves, blood vessels, muscles and tendons all pass, becomes irritated, tightened and the tunnel becomes congested. This condition is often treated with surgery which cuts and elongates the tendon for more room. Unfortunately this is not usually successful. The problem is that much of the irritation is to the muscles which develop TP along their entire length and begin to swell the muscles causing the tightening of the tunnel area.

The key is to understand the anatomy of the hands and arm and the mechanics of the injury. The fingers are moved like puppet with strings (tendons) coming from the finger muscles which are actually in the forearm. The nature of overuse of these muscles to hold the hands in position for computer work, tool handling or gripping is classic TP. Most often the TPs are not found in the wrist but in the middle or upper end of the muscles - clear into the biceps area where some of them actually attach across two different joints (the wrist and elbow).

 

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