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Understanding Carpal Tunnel-A Foe To Many Including The Writer.

Updated on February 6, 2012

The Hands Of a Carpal Tunnel Victim

As you can see by the photo-carpal tunnel syndrome is certainly a debilitating disease. It is not only degenerative in nature, but can also require surgical methods to repair the median nerve, responsible for causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
As you can see by the photo-carpal tunnel syndrome is certainly a debilitating disease. It is not only degenerative in nature, but can also require surgical methods to repair the median nerve, responsible for causing carpal tunnel syndrome. | Source

Diagram Of CTS of The Hand/Wrist Area


Carpal tunnel syndrome, or carpal tunnel can do more then just cause pain in the wrist and/or hand area. If you work in some capacity as a writer for example, or work as an administrative secretary, you may find yourself constantly using your fingers to do a large amount of typing.

Whether it's typing a memo, a proposal, or some other document that needs to be typed out onto paper using either a typewriter, or computer keyboard-you're constantly using those fingers. Besides employing your hands to carry out your work duties, it's hard not to utilize your hands and wrists in doing any sort of paper work. In fact they work in unison with one other, as do our feet and legs for example.

So as you can see carpal tunnel syndrome, is more then just a pain in the wrists or hands. It is literally a pain in the neck, for anyone who has to use their hands and fingers in a capacity as I just touched upon. And that could include thousands if not millions of people worldwide.

To boot writers are not the only individuals that suffer from carpal tunnel. Administrative secretaries, who sit at a desk typing away all day, every day, are not exempt from developing carpal tunnel. Many other people who use their hands in various other capacities...plumbers, electricians and so on need the mobility of their fingers and hands also.

As you can see if any of these individuals become incapacitated by a condition like carpal tunnel; you could well see, just not how awkward it may be to perform their jobs. But in addition, it would most likely be very uncomfortable to manipulate their hands; to perform functions that they need to do on the job as well. The pain and discomfort can often be very excruciating to say the least, for persons who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. You have to be in an individuals shoes who suffers from this conditon, to really know what they go through. And believe me it's not an experience that is pleasan at allt.

And as previously touched upon, it's not just us writer's who suffer the consequences if we develop carpal tunnel. But in this article, let's just use writers as an illustration. You may even be an individual who works in some capacity as a writer, or writes articles on a publishing platform for pleasure. Whatever the reason it is that you write, you still need to have flexiblility in your hands, fingers and wrists.

Without the proper function of your hands and fingers, you could not do what you really enjoy. Sure you could get away without using your hands and fingers for awile, by using speech software recognition programs. But is this really something we want to do if we can avoid it at all costs? As a writer it may take away the sheer enjoyment of taking those words created in our brains and then conveying them to our fingers-In turn crafting a useful and informative article.

It could without a doubt zap not only the enjoyment out of the writing process alltogether. It could make us question are overall abilities as writers. When you become so used to conveying thoughts from your brain, to those fingers; to in turn place those words on a computer screen, or legal pad, you get into a comfortable niche and feel that it wouldn't be the same writing, or typing in any other fashion.

And you may have been thinking all along that writers block, was the only thing, that writers feared. Think again and as you read on further, you will surely come to realize that writers block is not the only thing that lurks in the dark spaces of a writers mind waiting to rear its ugly head. But that carpal tunnel syndrome is also there hiding among the dark alleys; that in turn make up synapses and neurons within our brains.

Do not be too alarmed though, because there are always solutions to problems, or remedies to correct what is broken, or has gone awry. There are a number of alternative solutions, to not only help you prevent carpal tunnel, but also ones that wil remedy the conditon should you suddenly develop carpal tunnel. The good news is a number of these alternative solutions can be performed at no cost and in the comfort of your own home. But before we look into other ways to remedy what my have already developed, let's first take a look at what carpal tunnel really is, in terms of defining the conditon.

Carpal tunnel is not something that you make up, in other words it is not an imaginative disease that someone thinks they have. People who suffer from carpal tunnel really do suffer from this sometimes crippling conditon and for the most part are not hypochondriacs. Carpal tunnel, or (CTS) as I will refer to it in this article is-basically an inflammatory disease of a degenerative nature. Much like pain which can be caused by a degenerative and inflammed herniated lumbar disc in your lower back.

When something is degenerative in nature usually the condition will not improve, but will most likely worsen. Only if you do not take action early to seek solutions to correcting your CTS. In addition CTS victims are mainly women and persons who are generally over forty years of age. Women seem to be more prone to carpal tunnel then their male counterparts because for one; their anatomic structure is usually smaller, or more petite then a mans.

And this is especially true of the hand and wrist area. A woman's wrist being smaller overall then a man's is where the problem could initially surface in the first place. Because the median nerve has to pass through a carpal bone within the wrist and if it is small to begin with; then if it already has additional compression being exerted on the wrist and median nerve, it is going to cause that much more pain and additional problems.

So now that you have a basic idea that carpal tunnel is not in any way something you dreamed up; or that of a genetically predisposed nature. It may next be worth while if possible to do some investigative work of your own. Investigative work that may make you stop and think what could have possibly caused your carpal tunnel problem in the first place.

Is it something you could have avoided? Was it something that came about because it was related to your job? There may be many questions to the mystery of the development of carpal tunnel. And I believe each and every individual may have his, or her own different story, in relation to their problem. Sometimes you can do all the searching, or meddling over in your mind, of how you ever ended up with this debilitating and painful condition, but can never come up with a logical answer in conclusion.

Believe it or not job related stress has been linked to CTS. However that may be hard to avoid for a majority of us and to add, it may also be somewhat difficult to prove, if we were using this to go by, to use in claiming a job related disablility at a future date. If at all possible, we want to avoid any kind of disablilit and this may be something that is completely avoidable. But for the time being let's not look at the unforeseeable future, but look further on how we could correct a CTS conditon that we may already have, or one that we are trying to prevent from escalating.

I am an indivdual for one, who does believe that modern medicine...pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures to name a few, are still very effective treatments and no doubt, do add to the overall longevity and quality of life to a majority of people worldwide. However on the other end of the spectrum, if I do not have to take a drug for a disease condition, or resort to surgery, then I will look for an alternative solution to remedy my situation.

And the good news is-surgery is not the only solution to correcting carpal tunnel. There are a few natural methods that I will mention in the article, which have been proven to be very successful as well; in helping reduce the pain and inflammation an individual has, suffering from CTS. One on these natural methods is a form of Yoga. The great thing about this exercise, is that it can be performed in the comfort of your own home and will not cost you a copay out of pocket.

You would start off with placing your arms stretched out in front of you as far as possible, with the fingers separated as far away from one another on each hand. Make sure your knees are positioned beneath your chest and jeep your lower back or hind quarters slightly higher then the rest of the body, but not higher then your head.

Repeat this exercise by stretching your arms and hands out in front of you. This particular Yoga exercise has proven to be an effective method in treating CTS, if you do it often enough. What this exercise accomplishes, is that it releases the compression of the median nerve in the wrist, by stretching the hand, wrist and fingers all at one time.

Acupuncture has also been proven to be useful in individuals suffering with CTS, along with chiropractic manipulations. One method of acupuncture that can be tried at home, is one in which you would take the free thumb of one hand and with that thumb, apply pressure at the base of the thumb on the opposite hand, or hand afflicted with the carpal tunnel.

Continue to press in firmly but gently into the fleshy area of that hand. Repeat this for at least three times and while repeating this procedure; make sure that you hold the thumb in for about two seconds at a time. Afterward release the pressure of the fleshy part of the hand that is bothering you.

Another treatment that CTS victims utilize is the commonly used braces, therapeutic gloves and splints. Even though these natural methods of treating carpal tunnel pain may prove beneficial to some extent, they only manage the pain on a short term basis and often the pain does return-sooner then later.

So if all else fails, in the way of natural and alternative methods used to help you better perform at carrying out those writing, typing, or other tasks required to do on, or off the job fails. What else can you do? Well as mentioned earlier in this article, you can always resort to surgery. But even surgery is never 100% fool proof, that will lead to abolute remediation of your CTS.

Never the less surgery for CTS surgery is often the best way to correct carpal tunnel. Especially if you have had this problem for quite awhile. There are newer methods of surgery today are, besides the older conventional open release method, that is often used in releasing pressure on the median nerve, by enlarging or opening up the carpal tunnel. Endoscopic surgery, is one of these newer methods of surgery that is used to relieve the pain and pressure associated with carpal tunnel.

This type of surgery is often used to perform an endoscopy of an individuals upper gastric tract and esophagus. Where the physician searches for gastric ulcers and/or signs of GERD, (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease). At the end of the endoscope there is a camera, which is inserted into a two inch surgical opening made in the wrist, or wrists that contain the median nerve related damage. Attached on the endoscope with the camera, is a small surgical cutter or snipping tool if you will, that goes into the area of the incision and cuts the ligament within the carpal tunnel.

The end result of this surgical procedure, is that it reduces the prior pain and pressoure that had been previously placed on the median nerve. The advantage of this kind of surgery, is that there is less pain and tenderness after this surgical procedure. And time to recovery is much quicker compared to the older conventional method of surgery previously mentioned.

Prescription drugs in the way of pharmaceutical prescription NSAID's (Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are another option to consider, as well as another last resort beside surgery. NSAID's work by reducing the inflammation that is a result of carpal tunnel syndrome. They are fairly effective in relieving the symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling that are often associated with carpal tunnel. However they do not cure this condition.

Also you have to consider another important factor when taking NSAID drugs. If you have an underlying cardiovascular disorder...High blood pressure, history of stroke, or heart disease, or heart Arrythymias for example, then NSAID's would not be a wise choice in your particular case. You always should consult your doctor and ask them questions, if you ever consider any type of drug therapy-whether it includes NSAID therapy, or some other form of drug induced treatment. This is just plain common sense and can prevent further conditons from developing in the future.

There are also other conditons that could without a doubt lead up to CTS. So don't be surprised if your doctor tells you during an office visit, that you being thirty pounds overweight, having Diabetes, an over active thyroid, or suffer with rheumatoid arthritis for example, is contributing to your carpal tunnel syndrome. Because these are a few other conditons that have been found in individuals who also suffer with CTS in addition.

If you are just finishing up, reading this 2400 word article, about effective methods in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Then you are now more then ever before; to take action in preparing yourself for a situation such as this, if it were to abruptly happen to you. Or maybe it has already happened and you are currently searching for a few solutions to remedy your CTS problem, which you have already found within this article.

But the most important point to consider here, is to be able to perform duties at home and on the job. And if writing is what moves you to type out words onto a keyboard, as it does me, then you inevitably will want to avoid using speech recognition software at all costs. To do that you will need both hands and all ten fingers unless you have special talents that enable you to use your feet and toes to do the typing.

Remember carpal tunnel syndrome unlike writers block doesn't just go away. Writers block is still by far the least of a writers problems, so just be aware that carpal tunnel, is no ones friend and you will do just fine. Stay well-stay pain free and do what you love the most, whether it be writing, or fixing the kitchen sink.


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    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      JL, I have seen the effects of CTS on many of our clerical staff while I was still at the job. It is devestating and crippling. Repetitive motions with the hands, but it seems that this phenomenon is one that has come with the industrial revolution and even more so with the information age with the repetitive input of data through keyboards... Most informative, thanks

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      DY and Glenn:

      Thank you both, for those insightful comments that both of you made. I try to be as specific as possible when describing medical related disorders and glad that both of you so far found the information informative, as well as useful in some way or another-greatly appreciated!


    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      This was an interesting explanation of carpal tunnel syndrome. I actually had the surgery you mentioned in this Hub, cutting the ligament that was putting pressure on the carpal tunnel, although I never had the pain normally associated with carpal tunnel. My experience was that my hand would get numb. So my doctor diagnosed it as carpal tunnel.

    • dyhubpagescom profile image

      dyhubpagescom 6 years ago from United States of America

      What a great, informative article Jlb!

      Thank you for the useful info.