Did you know that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 U.S. Workers Compensation Claim?
Every year more than half a million people in the U.S. undergo carpal tunnel release surgeries.
Hello and Welcome to Health Matters Seminars. I’m David Morin. I’ve been an Approved Provider of CE Courses in Medical Massage Therapy since 2001.
A number of experts believe that release surgery is performed too often. Before choosing surgery, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends conservative treatment for up to 7 weeks, including the use of splints, anti-inflammatory agents and physical therapy.
So often PT centers on squeezing a ball of putty to strenthen the flexors. In my experience strenthing an already overused and inflamed muscle group is counter productive.
Better to stretch the overused flexors by opening the hand against gentle resistance, like a rubber band.
Massaging the wrist and finger flexors towards the heart as the client opens her hand is the most successful treatment I have found.
A massage therapist who applies the appropriate assessments, and manual therapy techniques and teaches remedial exercises can really provide a valuable service to carpal tunnel patients.
Exercise by progressively opening the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.
In addition to the forearm flexors we treat the entire musculature of the arm and shoulder to insure a successful outcome. As with so many overuse injuries, if we can begin treatment early in the onset of symptoms the chance of avoiding surgery increases.
In general, patients with the following characteristics are less likely to respond to conservative treatment and are more likely candidates for surgery:
* Symptoms lasting 10 months or longer
* Continual numbness
* Muscles in the base of the palm have begun to shrink
* Symptoms occur within 30 seconds during a Phalen’s test
* Above 50 years of age
Against all odds, properly applied manual therapy and remedial care often has a positive outcome.
To the graduates of our MMT Course II, Upper Extremity Pain and Dysfunction,
I’d like to hear from you. What’s been your experience treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
I’m David Morin, for Health Matter Seminars.