Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where pressure on a nerve (the Median Nerve), where it passes through the wrist into the hand, causes pain, pins and needles, weakness and numbness in the hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes a number of symptoms:

Symptoms of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

  • Pain in the hand, which often wakes you in the night.
  • Numbness and or pins and needles in the hand, affecting the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and the half of the ring finger nearest to the thumb.
  • Weakness of some of the movements of the thumb. Those that are worst affected may also have wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb.

Sometimes people feel the pain up into the lower end of their forearm.
The symptoms can trouble you at any time, but are most often worse at night. People often wake with the pain and find themselves shaking their hands to ease the symptoms.

The wrist is bounded on three sides by bones. The fourth side, the same side as the palm, has a thin covering across it, under which the structures lie that pass into the hand. The wrist bones are called the carpal bones, and this space is called the carpal tunnel.

Space in the carpal tunnel is limited. If anything leads to some of the space being taken up, this causes pressure to build up. The main contents of the carpal tunnel are the tendons which cause the hand to flex, but the structure in the wrist that is most sensitive to pressure is the nerve which passes into the hand (the median nerve).

Such things as swelling of the soft tissues, or knobbly changes of the bones might lead to pressure building up. Often there is no obvious cause, but there are some things that seem to predispose to this:

Arthritis e.g. osteoarthritis.
Various hormonal changes e.g.
Under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
Taking the oral contraceptive pill
Recent change in occupation / increased use of hands.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may also be more likely to occur when the nerves to the arm are already working at a disadvantage, for example when there are pre-existing neck problems.

Bowen therapy and the treatment of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

This condition can be extremely painful because it is hard not to use the hand at all!
The Bowen Technique is extremely useful for this condition because it is so gentle, yet highly effective. Several treatments will be needed before cessation of symptoms. The Bowen technique will be used to release the neck and shoulders as well as Carpel Tunnel areas.

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