Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
By Dr. Jeffrey Dougal D.C., L.M.T.
CTS can be easily treated without drugs or surgery. I’m not saying that it will always work, but neither does surgery. In fact, one question about CTS surgery is “does it really work?” or did the 12 weeks off from work help the CTS.
The carpal (wrist) bones are situated at the distal (far) end of the radius and the ulna. When the forearm muscles get tight they pull the carpal bones up between the radius and ulna. There is a tendon that attaches them called the flexor retinaculum. When the carpal bones force the radius and ulna apart, the flexor retinaculum is stretched tightly across the median nerve and cuts off the blood supply to the nerve.
The forearm muscles get tight usually from some kind of work the hands are doing. Muscles get really tight when we hold them tight without moving them. Remember the old manual type writers. People didn’t get carpal tunnel from those because a person had to swing their whole forearm down to strike the key hard enough to make it strike.
Some people think that buying a pad that goes in front of the keyboard will help with their carpal tunnel from typing on a computer. But that won’t work in most cases because people have trouble relaxing their forearm muscles even if they are resting on a pad.
So, the way to treat CTS is to massage and stretch the muscles of the forearm. It is also necessary to pull the carpal bones out from between the radius and ulna. This is a type of Chiropractic adjustment that you can easily be trained to do to yourself. Of course the wrist and elbow joints affect each other, and both should be adjusted.