The carpal tunnel is a small passage through the bones, tendons, and ligaments of the wrist and palm which holds the median nerve that controls the hand. When a patient has carpal tunnel syndrome, the ligaments and tendons around the tunnel get inflamed, compressing it and pinching the nerve. This restricts the flow of electrical impulses back and forth from the hand.
This is caused primarily through irritation and inflammation of internal tissue called the fascia. Fascia is soft tissue that is a part of the structure that tie bone, muscle, and ligaments together. Through abuse and overuse, they can become inflamed and then harden, restricting range of motion, such as in the case here.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a relatively new affliction that has seen a dramatic rise in the past decades. Its causes are somewhat unclear and under dispute, although it is widely believed to be caused by repetitive use of the wrists and fingers.
Most people who suffer symptoms of carpal tunnel make their living doing work in the following areas:
use of computer keyboards daily at work or home
assembly line work
construction work (repetitive use of vibration tools)
Other potential causes include:
The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The primary symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are tingling, burning, or numbness in the hand and fingers, especially the thumb and first two fingers. This is caused by that nerve getting pinched. In some cases, strength and mobility in the affected hand can be reduced as well.
If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can become a chronic condition that makes it difficult for those with the types of work listed above to be able to work without experiencing significant pain. Many office workers in the US have qualified for workman’s compensation due to diagnoses of carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, medical conditions can occur like bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist if not properly addressed and treated.
Anti-inflammatory drugs like Tylenol and Aleve can relieve the symptoms, but are rarely enough to address the underlying causes. Overuse of these instead of proper treatment can make the syndrome worse in the long run, and not to mention is unhealthy to the kidneys.
How the Graston Technique Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The Graston Technique is a form of rehab therapy that’s already been embraced by more than 12,000 clinics and private practitioners worldwide. By making use of a set of precisely-fashioned stainless steel tools, a trained Graston practitioner can pinpoint and target problems in a patient’s tendons and musculature. This allows them to help with work and sportselated injuries that other, more traditional massage therapies cannot effectively treat.
Because of this, the Graston technique is one of the fastest-growing newer therapies. It’s uniquely suited to treat a wide variety of common muscle related problems, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
The advantage of the Graston Technique over other forms of therapies comes through those stainless steel instruments mentioned above. They allow the practitioner to target precise areas below the skin much more effectively than with just fingers alone. This is what makes it perfect for affecting myofascial release.
Using a Graston instrument Dr. Mike rubs back and forth on the fascia around the carpal tunnel, loosening them and making them more flexible. The idea is somewhat like taking a hardened piece of putty and kneading it until it becomes pliable again. By doing so the tension around the carpal tunnel is reduced, freeing the pinched median nerve and restoring full function to the hand.
This is generally done in a series of short sessions, generally between four and six weeks, that only take a few minutes each. There is only a little pain, although there might be some mild bruising afterwards. There is also very little after care needed, unless the patient wishes to use pain relievers or a cold pack to reducing the bruising.
Why Use Graston Technique for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are few clinically-tested methods for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. The only approved surgical procedure for treating it involves cutting one of the ligaments in the hand to free the pinched nerve, a costly and painful solution to the problem. Otherwise, the other option a doctor has is injections of corticosteroids to keep the swelling down.
However, thanks to Graston Technique, it is possible to treat carpal tunnel through a process called myofascial release.The effectiveness of this process has been documented by Graston Technique researchers in a trial study of 22 patients suffering from the syndrome. In all cases, they reported their affliction as being significantly lessened through application of the Graston Technique.
See Dr. Mike for help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome today!
Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect millions of people worldwide, and previously there were little known cures for the condition. However, through the Graston Technique, a effective solution now exists for this troublesome syndrome. Anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome that has been unable to find relief through traditional therapies may want to speak to Dr. Mike about whether the Graston Technique is right for them.