Tag: Triathletes

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Sleeping

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and noticed your hand sleeping to the point where you had to get out of bed and shake or flick your fingers to alleviate the numbness? If the numbness was primarily on the thumb-side half of your hand, it may have been carpal tunnel syndrome that woke you up. So, the question is, why is it such an issue at night?

To properly answer this question, let’s get familiar with the anatomy of the wrist.  There are 2 bones that make up the forearm – the ulna (on the pinky side) and the radius (on the thumb side). Just beyond that, there are two rows of four bones each called the carpal bones for a total of 8 small bones that make up the wrist joint. These carpal bones are arranged in a horseshoe or tunnel shape. When you look down at your wrist and wiggle your fingers quickly, you can see all the movement that occurs on the palm side of the wrist.  That’s a lot of movement!  You can also see the muscles on the upper half of the forearm moving rapidly as the fingers wiggle.

There are 9 muscle tendons that travel through the carpal tunnel, as well as some blood vessels and most important, the median nerve sits on top of all those moving tendons. Just beneath the floor of the tunnel is a ligament called the transverse carpal ligament. The tendons inside the tunnel are surrounded by lubricating sheaths that make it easier for the tendons to slide back and forth as we wiggle our fingers, grip to open a jar, type on a computer, play a musical instrument, or so on. Without the tendon sheaths, the friction between the rubbing tendons would quickly build up heat, resulting in swelling, pain and numbness.  However, in spite of the lubricating function of the sheaths, when we work our fingers and hands too much, swelling and inflammation does occur.

So, why do we have numbness at night when we aren’t working, gripping and moving our fingers repetitively? The answer lies in how we sleep. Since we are asleep, we cannot control where we position our hands and wrists. Most of us curl up in a ball and tuck our hands under our chin or someplace cozy.  Normally, when we bend our wrists, the pressure inside the carpal tunnel doubles. However, a carpal tunnel patient already has a higher level of pressure in their wrist. So, when a carpal tunnel patient bends their wrist in the exact same way, the pressure goes up even more – that is, 3, 4, 5, or more times than a normal person without their wrist bent. That is why a wrist “cock-up” splint works so well at night!  It keeps the wrist straight so you can’t bend it.  Often, this allows the CTS patient to sleep through the night instead of waking up 2, 3, or more times with numbness, tingling, and/or pain on the thumb half of the hand.

At Denver Chiropractic Center, we have extensive experience using Active Release Techniques to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. We release scar tissue in the muscles adjacent to the nerve, and can take the symptoms away by relieving the pressure of that nerve (the Median Nerve). Call us today to schedule your initial exam where we’ll tell you whether you’re a candidate for our treatment approach. 303.300.0424

We realize you have a choice in where you get your health care and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Ergonomics

The word, “Ergonomics” is thrown around a lot when it comes to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The term ergonomics comes from the Greek ergon, meaning “work”, and nomos, meaning “natural laws.” By definition, ergonomics means, “…the study of efficiency in working environments.” Wikipedia describes it as, “…the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, and its cognitive abilities.” The International Ergonomics Association offers this definition: “Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.”

The study of ergonomics is not new as it dates back to Ancient Greece with substantial evidence that, in the 5th century BC, ergonomic principles were applied to tool design, jobs and workplaces. Examples include Hippocrates giving surgeons recommendations on how to arrange their table and tools during surgery.

Some ergonomic concepts you can employ on a daily basis include:

  1. Take frequent breaks, every half-hour if possible, but at least every 60 to 90 minutes. Get up, stretch and walk around. If nothing else, perform stretches while sitting in your work chair.
  2. Maintain “good posture” (tuck in the chin and hold the retracted position).
  3. Evaluate your workstation: proper sitting position, how you hold the phone, keyboard/monitor positions, type & position of the mouse, reaching requirements, avoid twist/bending the wrists.
  4. When grasping/gripping, use the whole hand – not just the fingers or thumb tips alone.
  5. Keep cutting instruments sharp (scissors, knives, etc.) and maintain locks on hinged knives.
  6. Consider modifications if tools are too heavy, buttons too high, too much required force, etc.
  7. Stay in shape as obesity is a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  8. Rotate job tasks rather than continuing with one task until finished (less repetition)!
  9. Communicate with your supervisor and HRO person about improving the workplace.

At Denver Chiropractic Center, we’ve been treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Active Release Techniques since the year 2000. By releasing scar tissue in the muscles around the nerve, we can often get rid of this debilitating condition. Our success rate is around 90%, with no side effects. If you’re considering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery, we urge you to give us a try.

We realize you have a choice in who you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing Active Release Techniques at Denver Chiropractic Center or those needs.  If you, a friend or family member require care for CTS, please call us today at 303,300,0424

Another weekly Health News For You – from Denver Chiropractic Center

While Dr. Hyman is on vacation this week, Dr. Stripling and Dr. May are in the office all  week if you need them! Remember, we have 3 fully certified Active Release chiropractors on staff!

Mental Attitude: Attention & Self-Control. When thinking about being healthy, people were less likely to eat unhealthy foods, whether or not they deemed them to be tasty. And they were more likely to eat healthy- untasty foods. Thinking about being healthy led subjects to say “no” to foods more often than they did when asked to make decisions naturally. So the next time you feel the magnetic pull of the golden arches, try to think about what it’ll do to your health. Maybe it’ll at least push you towards the salad.  Journal of Neuroscience, July 2011

Health Alert: Pharmaceutical Ads Do Not Follow FDA Guidelines. A survey of 192 pharmaceutical ads in biomedical journals found that only 18% were compliant with FDA guidelines; 57.8 % failed to quantify serious risks, including death; 48.2% lacked verifiable references; and 28.9% failed to present adequate efficacy quantification. Remember your health is your responsibility. Public Library of Science, Aug 2011

Diet: Increase In Food Allergies. 8% of children have food allergies, with almost 40% reporting severe reactions, an increase of 18% from 10 years ago. Peanut allergies among children have tripled, going from 1 in 250 in 1997 to 1 in 70 in 2008 (this includes Dr. Glenn’s oldest son, Andrew. No idea how or why). Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011

Exercise: Good Reasons. Exercise assists in efforts to stop smoking, helps you to relax, can help improve short-term memory in older individuals, and helps relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy (backache, heartburn, constipation, etc.). Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Chiropractic: Backpack Pains? Backpacks that are too heavy or used improperly can pull on ligaments and muscles, causing aches and pains in the neck and back, resulting in acute or chronic back pain. Things to look for in a backpack: Wide, padded, and adjustable shoulder straps; two straps; padded back; lightweight with a lot of compartments. University of Medicine New Jersey, Sept 2011

Quote: “A leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Active Release Techniques: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an entrapment of the nerve that goes to the thumb and first two fingers, the Median Nerve. While the nerve can indeed become entrapped in the actual carpal tunnel, it can also get pinched or pressured by the muscles of the forearm. Statistics from Dr. Hyman’s Active Release Corporate Solutions work since 2004 show overwhelmingly that ART treatment is a great first option for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In approximately 90% of cases, total symptom resolution was reported. It should be noted that some cases (most of these cases were over 3 years old) did in fact require surgery. If you or someone you know is suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, call us today. 303.300.0424

How many surgeries have I ruined?

One of the best things about being an Active Release provider is fixing patients who are already scheduled for surgery. I don’t keep formal score, but there are at least 2 of these cases a month. And I’ve been doing this for about 10 years. So that adds up to over 200.

Many of these cases involve carpal tunnel syndrome, and some involve rotator cuffs.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs through the forearm and ends at the thumb and first two fingers. In many cases, the pressure in the nerve comes from scar tissue that’s accumulated in the muscles. By releasing the scar tissue with Active Release, the pressure on the nerve resolves. Then there’s no reason to do surgery.

Now, I can’t claim a 100% success rate. Sometimes surgery is indeed necessary. But most patients who come to me are willing to try. I’d estimate that 8/10 cases resolve with ART. It’s proabably higher, but I don’t want to run the risk of over-estimating.

So if you’ve been told that you need carpal tunnel surgery, maybe coming to see me is worth a shot? Check back soon for a video clip featuring a real patient who was scheduled for Carpal tunnel surgery and had her symptoms resolved by me.

Dr. Glenn’s Denver Chiropracitc Center & Active Release Blog

So, another blog is born. What can you expect from this one?

Those of you who get the newlsetter know that I like to share information that you’ll enjoy reading. This includes real patients and real problems, like shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and so on. I’ve been practicing Chiropractic and Active Release in Denver for over 10 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of interesting cases.

You’ll also learn about fitness, strength training, nutrition, and more. So make sure you bookmark us or subscribe, and check back often. See you soon!

 Glenn Hyman, DC