What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when something (fluid, bone, or tight tendons) presses on the nerve within the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This results in wrist pain and numbness to the thumb and first two fingers.

To learn how to stop wrist pain and numbness in the fingers, and to continue working and enjoying your life to your fullest, and avoid potential surgery, we will explore all of the structures involved in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. We suggest you click on the links provided so you may view the graphics demonstrating each step of this explanation.

Carpal Area
There are 8 small bones in the wrist called the “carpal bones”. These bones form the base of the carpal tunnel. A ligament called the Flexor Retinaculum, also known as the Transverse Carpal Ligament, forms the roof of the tunnel, commonly called “the bridge”. Lay the back of your hand on a table, as you look at this graphic:

Entire Hand Cut-away

Through the small carpal tunnel passes the nine flexor tendons, along with the median nerve.

Any pressure exerted onto this area will squeeze the median nerve causing pain, and numbness to the hand and wrist.

For example: repetitive wrist or hand motions, such as working at a computer terminal; playing a musical instrument, sports, or even knitting, will cause swelling in the carpal tunnel.

The median nerve, which starts in the neck and travels down the arm to the wrist, and hand, can become entrapped anywhere along its path. Let’s examine the muscles that directly impact the median nerve.For example, a pinched nerve in the neck may cause you to have pain in your hand. You ask “why”, the best way to explain is in an analogy.

A telephone line a few blocks away, when knocked down after a storm, may cause static on your telephone. This concept is exactly what happens when the median nerve is pressed on, or irritated anywhere along its entire path, a static message is sent to the muscle.

The median nerve begins in your neck travels along, or through, many powerful muscles. We’ll look at how each of these muscles can cause the pain and numbness associated with CTS.

The scalenes originate on your cervical (neck) vertebre and insert onto the first rib. When the muscles contract you lower your head toward the chest. As you look at the graphic of the Scalenes, notice that the bundle of nerves, called the brachial plexus, comes right through the muscle. The brachial plexus then splits into three nerves: the ulnar nerve, the radial nerve, and the median nerve. The branch we will be examining, the median nerve, is labeled on the graphic.

When the scalenes are contracted, by a spasm, they put pressure directly onto the brachial plexus, causing a multitude of problems, including numbness in the thumb and first two fingers.

The median nerve then passes under a bony prominence of the scapula (shoulder blade) called the coracoid process. A muscle called the pectoralis minor pulls on the coracoid process, and is responsible for lifting your arm. As you examine this graphic you will be able to follow the next description easily.

When the pectoralis minor pulls on the coracoid process, your arm lifts. The tendon presses onto the median nerve, and onto the axillary artery, which supplies blood to your arm. When one holds their arm up for an extended period of time, the pectoralis minor tendon can cut off circulation and sensation to the entire arm. If the muscle has spasms, it holds the bone pressed onto the nerve and artery, even when the arm is resting at your side.

When a person sleeps with their arm tucked under their head, it may cause hand pain and numbness, that is commonly thought of as a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. We teach our clients how to change their sleeping habits and keep their arm down during the night.

Frequently, people with CTS wake during the night and have to shake their hand because of this reason. Releasing the contraction and spasms in the pectoralis minor will return blood flow, and sensation, to the arm and hand.

The nerve travels under the biceps, and then goes into the forearm where it is frequently trapped by the tight flexor muscles.

At the Carpal Tunnel Treatment Center we have found that it is vital to work out each individual spasm in the flexor muscles. Stretching is important, but unless the spasms are released, the muscles cannot be stretched sufficiently to release the strain on the tendons.

Most people have heard the term “tendonitis”, but they don’t realize how a muscle causes this condition.

An analogy I’ve found useful is to describe the muscle/tendon/bone connection like the system that automatically opens your garage door. The muscle is compared to the motor of the system, the tendon, a strong fibrous band which connects a muscle to a bone, is the cable that runs from the motor to the door, and the bone is the garage door.

When the motor (muscle) is turned on, it pulls on the cable (tendon). The cable then pulls on the door (bone), and the door moves. Likewise, when the muscle pulls on the tendon, the tendon then pulls on the bone and the bone moves. While the cables (tendons) may wrap gently around a bend, it doesn’t go around corners, it travels in an “almost-straight” line.

The flexor muscles originate at the elbow, go down the underside of your forearm, merge into the tendons, which then go through the carpal tunnel, and insert into your wrist, hand and fingers. As the flexor muscles pull on the flexor tendons, you move your wrist, hand and fingers in the direction of the pull.

If you grip your forearm tightly with your opposite hand, and open and close your hand into a fist, you will feel the flexor and extensor muscles contracting.

As you see in this graphic, the flexor tendons insert into your fingers, and cause the hand to close.

On the top of the arm and hand are the extensor muscles. When they contract you open your hand from a closed position. When the extensors are in spasm, they cause wrist pain.

The last graphic to examine is the muscle that originates on the bridge of the carpal tunnel, called Opponens Pollicis. This muscle is responsible for drawing your thumb into the palm of your hand.

The thick muscle at the base of the thumb is used millions of times a day. When this muscle is in spasm, it pulls down the roof of the Carpal Tunnel, and puts pressure on the median nerve.

When the flexor muscles, or the thumb muscles, are in spasm they put excessive pressure, or pull, on the carpal tunnel. Often this is tested by an EMG (Electromylogram). An EMG is an unpleasant test frequently used to diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. An electrode (needle) is placed into a nerve, and a second electrode (needle) is placed a distance away. An electrical charge is then passed between the two electrodes.

The technician measures the length of time it takes for the signal to go through the nerve, and if it is delayed you are told you have a “positive” EMG, confirming that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. And you do, but it is because the tendons have trapped the nerve within the tunnel.

At this point you have a few choices. A hand surgeon can cut open the wrist and snip the ligament of the carpal tunnel. However, a much easier approach, and far less painful, is to learn how to treat the spasms of the muscles we have just discussed. This will effectively stop the wrist/hand pain and numbness!

There are a few causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that will not respond to the Julstro System. Swelling, caused by pregnancy, thyroid conditions, and lymphedema, are examples. However, these make up only about 5% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers. We are confident that if you are in the 95% group, you will have excellent results by using the Julstro Self-Treatment System.

Overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs, and unnecessary surgery, is rampant throughout the USA, causing pain, paralysis, and even death! Dr. Cohen has written an informative eBook:
“What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You…7 Important Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”, which you will receive free by registering for the Carpal Tunnel Treatment Center newsletter. (Just enter your name and email address in the form on the right.)

You don’t need to open the tunnel –
you just need to release the pressure on the nerve!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 Repetitive Motion Injury in the United States. If you continue doing the movements that are causing the condition, the problem will re-occur.

The Julstro Self-Treatment Video System is easy to follow, and simple to learn. You have all the tools necessary to find and treat each spasm, and completely rid yourself of wrist-hand pain! This will give you control of your own wellbeing.

You will be able to quickly release any spasms that form on a daily basis, giving you control of your own well-being.

Now you know what to do,
so you will never have to suffer again!

Click here to learn more about the
Julstro Self-Treatment System.