A diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should not be considered an automatic prescription for drugs, injections or surgery. Symptoms normally can be totally eliminated in two or three therapy sessions using the correct therapy. Deep Myofascial Release (DMR) focuses on the real causes of this condition, enabling the body to reestablish a totally healthy state without scars or the inevitable post-operative recovery problems.
“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” is a term used for pain, numbness, tingling, stiffness, burning or swelling in the hands and fingers. The medical explanation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist, which causes numbness, pain and tingling in the thumb and first two fingers.
This diagnosis implies an origin in nerves of the wrist, which is often not the case. Although numbness and tingling in the hands may be the result of nerve compression, the problem normally doesn’t originate in the wrist itself and a person with these symptoms is often incorrectly diagnosed.
Myofascial trigger points (tiny contraction knots) in the scalene muscles at the front of the neck and/or the muscles of the scapula (shoulder blade) are nearly always involved in painful and abnormal sensations in the hands. Another key factor is the fascia in the arm, the connective tissue or fascia that envelops the muscles and forms the tendons. When this tissue tightens in an unhealthy way, it can restrict movement of the muscles and the movement of the wrist and fingers causing symptoms identical to those of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Proper stretching of the fascia restores it to its normal healthy state and releases the tightness and tension in the arm and wrist. That alone can offer immediate relief. Trigger points in muscles of the neck, chest, upper back, shoulder, upper arm, forearm and hand may be involved in causing symptoms in the wrist, hand and fingers. When primary treatment is directed at locating and deactivating trigger points in these areas, more extreme measures can usually be avoided.
Although trigger points and fascia are, by far, the most important factors in the so-called carpal tunnel symptoms, they are still not widely recognized in the traditional healthcare community. Thus, conventional treatments frequently yield far less than satisfactory results. Even after physical therapy, cortisone shots and surgeries, symptoms often remain and even worsen. Prescription drugs, wrist supports and prescribed rest and ergonomic improvements have little effect on trigger points once they have become established in overworked muscles.
Even in those instances when the problem is compression in the carpal tunnel, skillful stretching of the fascia and releasing of the involved trigger points are usually sufficient to achieve complete relief. Trigger points should be the first focus in any examination for pain, numbness and other abnormal sensations in the hands.