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San Clemente Journal

10 Steps to Curing Carpal Tunnel

May 05, 2005 03:45PM ● By Don Kindred

    “Do you have pain in the wrist? Are you experiencing swelling in the hand, wrist, or elbow? This may or may not be related to carpal tunnel.
To better understand carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), it helps to know how a normally functioning wrist works. The carpal tunnel is an opening into the hand comprised of the wrist bones, known as carpal bones (on the bottom) and the carpal ligament (connecting across the top). Both nerves and tendons run through this tunnel. 
     True, carpal tunnel comes about when there’s increased pressure on the tunnel, which compresses the structures within. This is the least common form. The most common condition is something known as the double crush. This gets its name because the nerve is crushed in two places, the carpal tunnel along with one or more of the following: the elbow, shoulder and neck, with the neck being the most common. This ailment can occur when people perform repetitive activities, like typing, or using a mouse, or constantly use the same tools like a hairdresser or manicurist would employ. While other factors, like pregnancy, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease can also predispose people to swelling in the carpal tunnel. 
     Regardless of the cause, chiropractic care offers safe and effective management for the condition. Some underlying medical factors may necessitate medical intervention, however, in which case your chiropractor can make an appropriate referral. 
Ten Facts about Carpal Tunnel.
• Carpal tunnel syndrome results in the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries.
• A report by NIOSH revealed that more than 50% of all food cashiers, (jobs predominantly held by women), suffered some degree of carpal tunnel syndrome and other forms of repetitive strain injuries as a result of the physical demands of scanning products at high speed.
• The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the “chief occupational hazard of the ‘90s”- disabling workers in epidemic proportions and now into the new millennium.
• Currently, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects over 8-million Americans.
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 reported medical problem, accounting for about 50% of all work-related injuries .
• Only 23% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery. 
• Up to 36% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients require unlimited medical treatment. 
• Women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as opposed to their male counterparts. 
• While women account for about 45% of all workers, they experience nearly 2/3’s of all work-related Repetitive Strain Injuries.
• Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the second most common type of surgery, with well over 230,000 procedures performed annually.
     It may sound obvious however the best way to handle carpal tunnel is to avoid it in the first place. 
Ten Most Common Jobs at Risk for Carpal Tunnel.
• Assemblers
• Cashiers
• Secretaries
• General office clerks
• Laborers, non-construction
• Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
• Welders and cutters
• Data-entry employees
• Textile sewing machine operators
• Order clerks
     If you have found that you are in a high risk job or are experiencing pain in the hands or wrists the following ten steps may save you lost time from work, decrease your pain quickly, as well as handle the condition altogether.
     Stretch your forearms and neck prior to work. 
     Extend and stretch both wrists and fingers acutely as if they are in a hand-stand position. Hold for a count of 5. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers. 
     Make a tight fist with both hands. Then bend both wrists down while keeping the fist. Hold for a count of 5. Straighten both wrists and relax fingers, for a count of 5. 
     The exercise should be repeated 10 times. Then let your arms hang loosely at the side and shake them for a few seconds.
      If you have swelling in the area ice or soak in ice water for 5 minutes.
      It may be necessary to discontinue the aggravating activity for a short time if the pain persists.
     A Chiropractic examination can isolate the problem and give a decisive course of action.
     There are many others exercises and stretches however it is best to know exactly what the problem is prior to determining which would be best for your particular condition.
    Carpal tunnel syndrome can range from annoying to debilitating and as with most things it is best to be proactive early on rather than waiting until it gets better only to find out it continues to worsen.
Ten great reasons to take care of a health problem now rather than later.
• The problem could get worse.
• A problem is more expensive to handle as it gets worse.
• If left to get worse it could create new more complex problems.
• It may get to a point in which the damage is irreversible.
• It could interfere with your productivity.
• It could have an adverse affect to those around you.
• The sooner you are feeling better the more enjoyment you will have.
• The better your health the better your productivity.
• The better your health is the better you will be able to focus on other things.
• It feels good to feel good. b
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.- 
Thomas A Edison.