Why Your Carpal Tunnel Isn’t Getting Better
We need to get the chubby babies off the hose!
Are you dealing with persistent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) symptoms that just won’t go away? It’s time to address the “chubby baby on the hose” concept. Picture your nerves as the hose, and those spots where they get compressed and irritated as the chubby babies. In this blog, we’ll explore why your CTS might not be improving and how a holistic approach can make a world of difference in finding lasting relief.
The Limitation of Treating Symptoms
Often, when we experience pain or discomfort, our first instinct is to treat the specific area that hurts. This approach, while providing temporary relief, may not address the underlying issue. Physiotherapy, on the other hand, takes a broader perspective. It aims to understand the whole person and uncover the root cause of the problem rather than just alleviating symptoms.
The Complex Pathway of the Median Nerve
To comprehend why your CTS may persist, it’s crucial to recognize the complexity of the median nerve’s pathway. This nerve embarks on a lengthy journey, and along the way, various points can act as “chubby babies” on the hose. The more compression points there are, the more symptoms you’re likely to experience.
Exploring the Trouble Spots
- Neck Problems: Conditions like herniated discs or cervical stenosis in the neck can disrupt the entire nerve pathway, potentially leading to hand symptoms.
- Scalenes: Tight or inflamed scalene muscles in the neck can compress the brachial plexus—a network of nerves supplying the arm.
- First Rib: Located beneath the collarbone, the first rib can create issues in the thoracic outlet, affecting not only arm nerves but also blood vessels.
- Second Rib: Similar to the first rib, the second rib’s involvement can contribute to thoracic outlet syndrome, impacting nerve function.
- Brachialis: Tightness or injury in the upper arm’s brachialis muscle can mimic CTS symptoms.
- Pronator Teres: Problems with the forearm’s pronator teres muscle can also lead to symptoms resembling CTS.
- Carpal Tunnel: CTS is often associated with this narrow wrist passage, where nerve compression can manifest as classic CTS symptoms.
Holistic Exercises for Relief
To truly overcome CTS and its persistent symptoms, adopting a holistic approach is essential. Alongside professional care, consider incorporating these exercises into your routine:
- Cervical Spine Chin Tucks:
- Sit or stand with your back straight.
- Gently tuck your chin towards your chest.
- Hold for a few seconds, feeling a stretch in the neck.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
- Open Book Exercise:
- Lie on your side with your knees bent and arms extended in front of you.
- Keeping your lower body still, open your top arm as far as you can without straining.
- Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 times on each side.
- Shoulder Retraction:
- Sit or stand with your arms at your sides.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling them back.
- Hold for a few seconds and then release.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
By addressing every chubby baby on the hose and incorporating these exercises, you can pave the way for lasting relief and better hand and wrist health.
If your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome isn’t improving, it’s time to shift your perspective. Recognize that the entire nerve pathway, from the neck to the wrist, plays a role in your symptoms. Seek the expertise of a physiotherapist who embraces a holistic approach, targeting not just the wrist but also the root causes elsewhere. With professional guidance and these exercises, you can achieve lasting relief and improved hand and wrist health.