So you think you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (abbreviated CTS) is used as an umbrella diagnosis with most people attributing any wrist pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. Actual CTS can be difficult to diagnose as there are similarities with neck injuries, nerve impairment, thoracic outlet syndrome, pronator teres syndrome, sprained wrist ligaments, and trigger point referral pain produce similar symptoms. Massage can be immensely helpful for CTS patients. A therapeutic massage, within pain tolerance, for carpal tunnel syndrome with specific work on the hand, wrist, forearm and shoulder may help decompress the median nerve. Massage that doesn’t exacerbate symptoms has been shown to contribute to improvement in strength, function, and symptoms of patients with CTS. Read on to find out more!

Should I Ice or Should I Heat?

After posting about inflammation and swelling last week, I had a few questions about icing or heating muscle pains and injuries and how that interacts with the inflammatory process. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a good answer. Medical professionals seem quite divided on when to ice an injury and when to heat an injury. PubMed, a repository of peer reviewed science journal articles, shows a significant number of published papers with the conclusion that icing helps, icing is detrimental, or that icing has no effect, along with heating an injury helps, heating an injury does not help, and that heating an injury has no effect. So, at this point in time, it seems as though the jury is still deliberating on this case. Personally, I am in the pro-icing camp for specific injuries and in the pro-heating camp for general aches and pains. Basically my recommendation is to try something and see how your body reacts--icing, heating, or both.