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Shock Therapy for Carpal Tunnel

Shock Therapy for Carpal Tunnel
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Achy wrist and hands? It could be Carpal tunnel syndrome, but it could be many other soft tissue issues as well. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be given as a diagnosis for any forearm or wrist pain, please make sure your physician is doing some simple tests along with the physical examination, not just seeing a history of computer keyboard use and going straight to CTS. However, it is common injury from repetitive keyboarding or using small hand tools. You will feel numbness in the middle and index finger and weakness in the thumb.

Here are more symptoms:

• Nighttime painful tingling in one or both hands, frequently causing sleep disturbance
• Feeling of uselessness in the fingers
• A sense that fingers are swollen even though little or no swelling is apparent
• Daytime tingling in the hands, followed by a decreased ability to squeeze things
• Loss of strength in the muscle at the base of the thumb, near the palm
• Pain shooting from the hand up the arm as far as the shoulder

You can alleviate the pain in a few ways:
• Stretching is very important, the nerve is being pinched between bony structures and inflamed tissue, and stretching that connecting soft tissue will relieve pressure. Stretch frequently and take breaks before it becomes inflamed!
• Modify your work environment. If you use a computer, have an adjustable keyboard table and chair, and a wrist rest.
Other treatment options are Nutrition, Herbs, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Physical and Massage Therapy.

My favorite home treatment for achy wrist, hands and elbows is what I call “Shock Therapy” but have found out the technical term is Localized Contrast Hydrotherapy. Please don’t stick your finger in an electrical outlet. Cold water is shocking enough, but it really does relieve pain and encourage healing.

The basic treatment for CTS is to immerse your wrists fully in hot water for 3 minutes, followed by 1 minute in cold water, and repeat three times.

For very detailed instructions, and safety precautions, see this link:

The immersion is the important part, a bit of circulatory gymnastics. This treatment can easily be used for feet and ankles – plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis and shin splints. Shower contrasting can be done, but not as big of an effect as immersion. Most people I talk to don’t like or forget to ice injuries – I’m still not sure why. Oh yeah, because it’s cold. Ice is the best treatment the first 2-3 day after injury, then follow up with this more balanced and soothing treatment of ice and heat together. Contrast hydrotherapy can be a different sensation because you’ve warmed the tissue first with the hot water, then the cold water can actually feel refreshing.

Try this out, have fun with it, be creative, enjoy the sensations, you may find it beneficial.

Carpal tunnel syndrome
University of Maryland Medical Center

Contrast Hydrotherapy: When and Why You Should Try It

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