Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) refers to a group of symptoms that include swelling, pain, tingling, and loss of strength in your wrist and hand.
It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel running from the lower forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. It is similar to Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, which occurs in your ankle.
The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist surrounded by wrist bones and by a rigid ligament that links the bones together. The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel, which is formed by a series of small bones called the metacarpals on three sides, and a fibrous sheath called the flexor retinaculum which acts as a pulley for the forearm flexors on the other. There are nine tendons of the hand that also pass through this canal.
The median nerve can be compressed in one of a few ways:
- by swelling of the contents of the canal
- soft tissue swelling in and around the tunnel
- by direct pressure from part of a broken or dislocated bone
Nearly half of CTS sufferers have symptoms in both hands.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
At the onset of carpal tunnel pain immediate measures should be taken in order to avoid permanent damage of the median nerve. Ignoring the symptoms thinking they will go away naturally and continuing with activities that cause wrist and hand pain will certainly lead to more serious problems in the future. In order to avoid serious CTS injuries try to maintain a straight and relaxed wrist position. Repetitive tasks with a bent wrist like typing, playing an instrument and even drivinG puts your wrist at risk.
By treating your carpal tunnel properly and with dedication, you can get your wrist back to normal. Fortunately, there are home therapies that can help treat your flexor tendons and reduce swelling and inflammation fast so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
Doctors recommend using cold compression to reduce pain and swelling naturally, without medication.
The Wrist Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat the swelling in your wrist in an effective and convenient way. The wrap is versatile with Velcro attachments so you can wrap it around your hand, wrist or forearm where you need it. It's adjustable which allows you to control the compression to your comfort level.
Designed with ColdCure Technology®, the gel packs are chilled in the fridge not the freezer. This eliminates the risk of cryoburn, or 'cold burns', on your skin that can be cause by ice and strandard freezer gel packs. You can also wear the Freezie Wrap® for longer treatments so you can enjoy even more relief from your wrist pain!
Cold Compression Therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling. This is important for 2 reasons. First, swelling blocks blood vessels and once they are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the tendon and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your tendon, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur.
Second, by reducing swelling in the carpal tunnel you are able to relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. The deep cooling effect provided by the Wrist Freezie Wrap® gives you the fast, effective relief your sore wrist has been looking for!
Click Here to learn more about Freezie Wrap® ColdCure Technology®
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
After the inflammation and swelling is gone, it is time to begin treating your wrist with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ (BFST®). BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your wrist to nourish your tendons and ligaments to speed healing.
Tendons receive a limited blood supply by nature and this significantly reduces the ability to heal.
By treating your tendon with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the wrist and increase your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from the injury leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Wrist Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
Click Here to learn more about how Inferno Wrap® BFST® works
With these easy-to-use, home therapies you will notice reduced pain and an incredible improvement in the health and flexibility in your wrist. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Anatomy of the Carpal Tunnel
The top of the Carpal tunnel is formed by 8 carpal bones that form 2 rows and 4 articulations or joints. The proximal row of carpal bones (scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform) and the distal row of carpal bones (trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate) create the top of the tunnel. These bones are small and glide against each other so that we can move our wrist in different directions.
The other side of the carpal tunnel is formed by the flexor retinaculum which forms a retinacular bridge over the carpal tunnel. Its main function is to protect the contained tendon without a significant mechanical action in supporting the transverse carpal arch that acts as a pulley for the wrist flexor tendons when tension is applied to them by contraction of the forearm flexor muscles.
Inside the carpal tunnel there are nine tendons that, when pulled, flex the fingers of the hand. Flexor digitorum superficialis has 4 tendons that pass through the carpal tunnel and insert on the middle phalanx (middle bone of the finger) of digits 2-5 (all fingers but the thumb). Flexor digitorum profundus has 4 tendons that pass through the carpal tunnel and insert on the middle phalanx (middle bone of the fingers) of digits 2-5 (all fingers but the thumb). The flexor pollicis longus has 1 tendon that passes through the carpal tunnel and inserts in the distal phalanx (bone at the tip of the thumb). When inflammation occurs in the onset of tendenosis with any of these tendons the median nerve can become compressed then numbness, muscle weakness and tingling can occur to thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger.