Repetitive Strain Injuries and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that interferes with the use of the hand. Often the dominant wrist is the injured one but in some patients both wrists can be involved. Symptoms are caused by the pinching/entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Symptoms include pain, numbness in the index, middle fingers and thumb, tingling in the hand(s) and pain shooting up the arm. Left untreated, the condition tends to worsen and can lead to permanent nerve damage. 

Since bones and ligaments have no “give”, this puts pressure on the nerve, which can be worsened by repetitive motion and tasks. Examples of repetitive motion include using a computer for long periods of time or performing assembly line tasks.  Middle age is the most common time in life for carpal tunnel syndrome to occur and there is a higher occurrence of carpal tunnel in females compared to males. Patients seeking treatment for repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel do so because it is less invasive to its allopathic counterparts, which rely on medication and surgery.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles change in three important ways:

  • Acute conditions (pulls, collisions)
  • Micro-trauma (small tears)
  • Hypoxia (lack of oxygen)

These factors cause the body to produce tough scar tissue that binds and ties down tissues, restricting movement. 

Over time scar tissue builds up, causing muscles to become shorter and weaker, resulting in a reduced range of motion, loss of strength and pain. 

Active release techniques are patented massage techniques that address problems with tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves, which are often the result of overuse.
All of Back to Health’s practitioners are certified in Active release techniques.

Clinical Stages of Carpal Tunnel:
Stage 1→ Uncharacteristic discomfort in the hand
Stage 2→ Symptoms localized to territory supplied by the median nerve
Stage 3→ Impairment of digital function and clumsiness
Stage 4→ Sensory loss in median nerve distribution
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