Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments - The Better Choice for Success

by Jeff Anliker - Date: 2006-12-28 - Word Count: 500 Share This!

Studies of carpal tunnel syndrome show that when untreated, its outcome is poor, with many suffering for years without relief. Indeed, research on the natural history of the disorder indicates that patients with mild to moderate symptoms typically experience significant worsening in the first year that may extend for many years. Although many factors are linked to a poor course, bilateral impairment is a major predictor in a long-term negative outcome of those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

These findings speak to the importance of early intervention of carpal tunnel syndrome. There are numerous treatments available for carpal tunnel syndrome including invasive modalities such as open and endoscopic release surgery and cortisone injections, but most patients find it useful to begin with a conservative approach to therapy. This approach may involve rest or the avoidance of exacerbating situations (e.g., excessive typing). Treatment may also involve anti-inflammatory medications designed to reduce swelling and tenderness.

It is rarely the case that the intervention techniques listed above are sufficient to treat carpal tunnel syndrome completely. Other interventions involve environmental modifications such as therapeutic chairs and computer keyboard pads. In addition, wrist splinting is another popular treatment, but has shown to be a highly ineffective option as it puts undue pressure on the median nerve and allows existing muscle imbalances to worsen. (Note: A positive outcome has been shown when wrist braces are used for night use only in order to keep the wrist straight. The reason for this is that many people make a fist or curl their wrist into extreme flexion while sleeping which vastly increases compression / impingement of the median nerve.)

The most successful approach in eliminating carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and effectively is correcting muscle imbalances in the hand and forearm with simple therapeutic exercises. These exercises focus on stretching and lengthening the overused flexor muscles that flex (bend) the fingers and wrist in order to relieve compression of the median nerve, and the strengthening of the extensor muscles that extend (straighten) the fingers and wrist as the extensor muscles act as the main stabilizers for the hand when performing all gripping activities.

By strengthening and stretching the appropriate muscles, it is possible to correct the muscle imbalance that causes nerve entrapment within the carpal tunnel without having to resort to splints or braces, or having to rely on invasive treatments like cortisone injections or surgery which have a very low rate of success as shown below:

· Surgery: The average failure rate is 57% after following the patient from 1-day to 6-years. At least one of the following symptoms re-occurred during this time, pain, numbness, and tingling sensations.

·Steroid Injection: The FAILURE RATE for total alleviation after a one-year follow-up is about 75.6% of all patients.

With conservative treatments showing a much higher rate of short-term success and with greater long-term relief, it is easy to see that non-invasive treatments are a much better choice. Remember to always talk with your primary care giver so that you may investigate the choice that fits your lifestyle best.

Related Tags: carpal tunnel syndrome, carpal, carpal tunnel syndrome prevention, carpal tunnel syndrome treatments

BSI Staff - Includes Therapists, Inventors and Researchers that work together to provide information to Corporations, Consumers and Medical Facilities around the world for the treatment of muscle imbalances affecting the upper extremity. 1-888-274-5444

Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: