NON-SURGICAL OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
"In general, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome develops when the tissue around the Median Nerve of the hand swell and press on the nerve. Early in the disorder, the process is reversible. Over time, however, the insulation on the nerves may wear away, and permanent nerve damage may develop. It is critical to begin treating early phases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome before the damage progresses. A conservative approach to CTS...... is the first step in treating this disorder." The University of Maryland Medical Center's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome webpage.
"Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common condition, caused by 'The Pill', pregnancy, Rheumatological, or Endocrine disorders; and involves compression of the Median Nerve in the Carpal Tunnel" The Carpal Tunnel Anatomy video below from England's University of Warwick.
- DIABETES: We are a nation of SUGAR ADDICTS. Just remember that you do not have to have FULL BLOWN DIABETES in order to have Sugar Dysregulation. Also remember that problems with the regulation of blood sugar are a foundational point for virtually all diseases (HERE).
- HYPOTHYROIDISM & DIMINISHED PITUITARY FUNCTION: HERE is the link on thyroid issues. In case you were not aware, the vast majority of America's thyroid problems (Hashimoto's and Graves) are AUTOIMMUNE. Be aware that the quote at the top mentioned ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS in general, which would encompass the first three bullet points on this list.
- OBESITY: Unfortunately, when you count those who are SKINNY FAT, almost 80% of our nation's adult population is either overweight or OBESE.
- RHEUMATOID OR DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS: HERE are several links pertaining to various kinds of Arthritis (RA is Autoimmune).
- TENDON PROBLEMS: I actually wrote an entire post about THIS FACTOR.
- PREVIOUS TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER: This one was interesting. And while I could POSTULATE AS TO THE RELATIONSHIP, I am not really sure.
- PREVIOUS WRIST INJURY: This could be almost anything, including fractures, sprains and strains, or possibly TENDINOSIS.
- USING VIBRATING HAND-TOOLS REGULARLY: This actually sounds more like a risk factor for Raynaud's Disease (aka "Jackhammerer's Syndrome") than it does for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- WORK-RELATED STRESS: Although this is sort of a catch-all; as amazing as it sounds, neither repetitive work with the hands nor computer work made the list.
Is surgery an effective / cost-effective option for CTS? Depends on who you talk to. I am here to tell you, however, that for many of you, there's a better way to deal with this and many other INFLAMMATORY HEALTH PROBLEMS than simply taking another drug. Since Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not necessarily what you thought it was, it might make sense that it needs to be dealt with in ways that you might not necessarily have thought of or even heard of. In other words, you may need to step outside the box.
An April 2007 study (A Systematic Review of Conservative Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) published in the medical journal Clinical Rehabilitation, looked at the evidence from over 30 randomized studies on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Although they mentioned NSAIDS as showing "limited" efficacy in the treatment of CTS (something that is recommended by most physicians, and touted on sites like MayoClinic and WebMD), their big brother (CORTICOSTEROIDS -- injected and / or oral) was the only form of treatment that made the "strong evidence" category. Yes; I understand that steroids have the ability to at least temporarily relieve the symptoms of CTS. The problem is, they also have a crazy array of common and frequently severe side effects.
In Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery, an incision is made in the Transverse Carpal Ligament (aka the Flexor Retinaculum --- see the pic at the top of this page) in order to "release" the bound ligament, and thus 'release' or take pressure off of the contents of the Carpal Tunnel. Read between the lines as you listen to what a popular online encyclopedia had to say about the success rates of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery.
Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome after successful surgery is rare. If a person has hand pain after surgery, it is most likely not caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. It may be the case that the illness of a person with hand pain after carpal tunnel release was diagnosed incorrectly, such that the carpal tunnel release has had no positive effect upon the patient's symptoms.
Put all this in the computer, add it up, and it tells me that somewhere we are missing the boat with this problem we call Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Surely there must be a better way to deal with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Often times there is. How would I go about helping someone struggling with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? There are several steps that make sense in light of the most current peer-reviewed literature.
- CHANGE OF DIET AND LIFESTYLE: Remember the list from the top of the page on the chief causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Reviewing this list reveals that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome might be far more complex than we have been led to believe.
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: The nerves that end up in your hand and wrist come from your neck. Make sure to take a look at the NERVE CHART.
- TISSUE REMODELING: This could be at either the WRIST or the NECK. HERE is what I am talking about when I mention "Tissue Remodeling".
- NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: This might be in the form of WHOLE FOOD B-Vitamins. It might mean that you need to take some PGFO. An obvious GUT PROBLEM (seen in most of the problems in the list at the top of the page) might mean that you need some PROBIOTICS or something else.
- COLD LASER THERAPY: This is an amazing (relatively) new technology that promotes healing. If you want to find out more about the way that COLD LASER THERAPY would work with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, just click the link.