If you sprain your ankle, you may go to the doctor. What will the doctor say first?
a) Go see your rolfer
b) Poor thing, here is some Oxycodone to get you high until the pain subsides…
c) What did you do?
d) It’s inflamed, let‘s get rid of the ankle. You didn’t really need it, did you?
a) no, that’s only in my dreams…
b) no, that’s only in your dreams…
c) most likely
d) neaah, they wouldn’t say that, or would they?
Well, now go to your doctor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and what will the doctor say?
d) d) and d)
They will say: Oh it’s inflamed, let’s get rid of that thing around your wrist that evolution put there to keep all your tendons and nerves neatly organized in their tunnel so that they don’t slide right and left with every move.
But they won’t ask you why it’s inflamed, or they won’t tell you how to get rid of the inflammation.
Do you believe in spontaneous inflammation?
The kind where you’re not doing anything and it starts hurting, without ANY reason?
Well I don’t.
If your median nerve gets inflamed it’s because it’s being compressed in the tunnel. So surgeons will want to cut the transverse carpal ligament to give more room to the nerve. It’s a band-aid, an expensive, uncomfortable one.
Why would they not look for the reason behind the inflammation before jumping on the knife?
There are thousands of exercises on the internet you can do to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome. They’re all good. But your pain doesn’t start at the wrist, it comes from the shoulders, back and neck position.
Lots of people type a lot; they have tight forearms and their wrists hurt sometimes. And yes you can work on the fascia of the wrist, hand, and arm because they do get tight.
But if you don’t work on the shoulders, back and neck, the pain will come back, always.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a postural issue, posture of the wrist and the whole body around it. If your chest is closed-up, or collapsed on itself chances are you will develop some carpal tunnel pain if you type, knit or bike long enough. There are myriads of reasons for your chest to be collapsing: maybe you are a habitual sloucher, or maybe you work in a place where you’re cold all the time.
Maybe you’re scared of something present or of something past. Lots of people hold their trauma in their chest, around their heart and lungs, and they have a collapsed chest because they’re protecting their core. A lot of these people have thoracic outlet or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Or maybe you bend over a lot in our work (car mechanics, dentists, nurses…). Regardless of the reason, carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t stop at the wrist.
So don’t wait until the tingling in your hands wakes you up at night. If you feel tingling at all, even fleeting, think about your posture, your shoulders, and call me, we can reshape your body to avoid the pain, and the surgery.
(And yes, my number is still a Washington number but my office is in Beautiful Portland, Oregon.)