The most common neuropathic pain condition of the hand is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are numerous and range from the non-invasive (non-surgical) to the invasive (surgical).
With all the time people spend on computers these days, this syndrome has increased in its incidence. Nearly any activity that repeatedly stresses the wrist can cause it. Furthermore, certain pre-existing diseases increase the likelihood of developing CTS.
Today, CTS can be cured without surgery. The surgical treatment is effective but has several potential complications that can be quite disabling. Lets first talk about what CTS actually is…
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS is a condition where the main nerve going into your hand is irritated or compressed. This nerve is called the Median Nerve and it accounts for 3/5 of the function of your hand. It travels through the Carpel Tunnel of your wrist into your hand.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this malady is usually seen in people who repeatedly use their hands (that includes you and me as computer nerds:). There are over 3 million Americans with this condition. It is the most common nerve compression syndrome.
Women are much more commonly effected than men. It clusters in families (which means there is a genetic tendency to develop it). Furthermore, people with Diabetes Mellitus, Thyroid disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Pregnancy have a higher chance of getting this annoying condition.
How Does It Feel?
When the Median Nerve is irritated or injured you may notice a numbness, stiffness, weakness, or “tingling” pain in the wrist or hand. The pain can even radiate up the arm.
There may be certain activities that make it worse like typing, or using the mouse for your computer, or operating machinery that vibrates your hand and wrist.
If the symptoms go on untreated, you can develop permanent symptoms in your hand (such as muscular weakness of the hand). At that point, many of the therapies that we will be discussing may not work.
It is important to not ignore the symptoms. You should be evaluated by your Primary Care Practitioner (PCP) if these symptoms occur.
What Are The Tests For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
If your History, Physical Exam, and EMG/NCS are consistent with CTS, your PCP will probably begin conservative therapy. That usually constitutes anti-inflammatory medication, a wrist splint, stretching exercises for the wrist, and instructions on what activites to avoid.
If your symptoms persist for more than 4 weeks with therapy, your PCP will usually refer you to a surgeon who specializes in a procedure called a Carpel Tunnel Release. This is a fairly simple surgery where the Transverse Carpal Ligament of the wrist is cut and the tendons compressing the Median Nerve are “released”.
This relieves the pressure on the Median Nerve and your symptoms usually resolve.
While many people will get relief of their symptoms with these therapies, there are several drawbacks:
- Anti-inflammatories have many side-effects (ie. stomach ulcers, kidney disease, etc.). They cause up to 17,000 deaths each year in the U.S. from Gastro-intestinal hemorrhage. These medications do nothing for the main problem in CTS…the narrow Carpal Tunnel.
- Wrist exercises may help temporarily but do not correct the main cause of the nerve entrapment…a narrow Carpal Tunnel.
- A wrist splint may help by allowing the wrist structures to rest and decrease their swelling. If a splint doesn’t improve your symptoms in 2-4 weeks, it probably isn’t going to work. You see…it doesn’t change the narrow Carpal Tunnel.
- Surgery will definitely enlarge the Carpel Tunnel. However, you will have to face the risk of a surgical procedure, some form of anesthesia, a permanently painful incision on your hand (60% of patients have incisional pain after the CTS release), and your symptoms may recur after surgery anyway .
A Non-Surgical Cure
If I was going to create the perfect treatment for something I would make it effective, have few side effects, be affordable, and be able to be repeated conveniently.
There is actually a therapy that satisfies all my criteria…it is called the CTrac.
The CTrac was developed in the U.S. by 2 Doctors who practice pain management. The device inflates on the wrist and stretches the Transverse Carpal Ligament…enlarging the Carpal Tunnel. The other non-invasive therapies do not enlarge the Carpal Tunnel.
It is worn 5 minutes, 3 times per day. Within 2 weeks 70-80% of patients have significant relief. After using the therapy for 1 month 75% of the patients no longer required surgery. This device is non-invasive, inexpensive, has virtually no complications or side effects, and can be repeatedly applied as needed.
I have reviewed the symptoms, signs, tests, and usual therapies for CTS have a peek at this site. The CTrac is an excellent alternative to surgery. If the symptoms persist after CTrac therapy, surgery is still a viable option for permanent pain relief.
You cannot lose choosing CTrac as your first choice to cure your Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
Click here or on the image to purchase the CTrac:
If you have further questions, please comment. I would love to help you relieve your pain.
Wishing you joy and good health.