Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I don’t have it, but I do have a close and personal relationship
with my chiropractor. He practices a technique called (I believe)
active release technique which was pioneered by one of his chiro
friends 10-20 years ago. He apparently went to the Mayo clinic (in
Rochester, MN) and asked them for their worst, “incurable” cases of
carpal tunnel. The folks at Mayo chuckled amongst themselves until he
had overwhelming and nearly immediate results with over 80% of their
“hopeless” cases. If you’re suffering from this condition, it may be
worth investigating a chiropractor who practices this technique.

As with “David Lee”, I’m not a health care professional in any way,
but I do have an appreciation of a pain-free existence! :slight_smile:

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Last year I had to wear a cast in my left hand for a month for the
worst swelling i ever had. I had two choices: to wear that cast and
after that exercise my hands every day for the rest of my life or
get an operation. I did some research but carpal tunnel syndrome
surgery is too risky. I bought this book :

Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome : And Other Repetitive Strain
Injuries – Sharon J. Butler, et al; Paperback (which my doctor
suggested). it shows the most wonderful easy exercises to prevent and
treat pain. If the swelling is evident the only way to deal with it
is to have some swelling aminorating pills (my doctor suggested
FASTUM, and FASTUM GEL). and rest a couple of days, if not the
condition will worsen or won=B4t go away. The best way to prevent pain
is to HAVE A GOOD POSTURE WHILE WORKING ! ( cause a bad back posture
worsens the condition) and of course exercise a little bit before
starting to work. And stopping every now and then to STRETCH , every
half hour works for me, a simple stretch helps a lot, it does not
take much time.

My hands are the most precious things god gave me, now I know I have
to take good care of them. Safety and health for all Julieta Odio

I had an operation for carpal tunnel on my right hand this past
October and so far everything is much better. No more numbness.
Pain has pretty much entirely dissipated.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

I had my carpal tunnel operated on about 15 years ago. I would
highly recommend the surgery. I had experienced a lot of numbness
and tingling that would even wake me up at night and had nerve
damage that took about 6 months to heal. After a week in a half
cast, the stitches were removed and I was using my hand very soon
after that. It has never given me any trouble since.

Recently on an airplane, I saw an ad for orthoscopic carpal tunnel
surgery done through two small incisions. My whole scar is only an
inch long, so I do not know that this is much of an improvement, but
you might want to check it out.


Another case of Carpal Tunnel–I had bilateral surgery after
spending about two years not sleeping because of extreme numbness
and tingling in both hands. The danger in letting it go too long if
it doesn’t respond to hand braces, etc., is nerve damage, which
potentially can be irreversible. Since I recovered, I’ve had no
problems at all–and this was about 5 years ago. The
scars are all but invisible. Sandra

My wife and I go to our chiropractor once a week for a tune up
and/or to deal with a specific problem. My wife had been experiencing
some symptoms of Carpel Tunnel and with one adjustment of her
hand/arm the relief of symptoms was immediate. My advice; find a good
chiropractor and try before surgery. Joel

Joel Schwalb

Dear Sandra, I apparently have carpel tunnel but hear they also
now have two little dots to do their work in… HOpe that will work
for me… I don’t know how I got this but guess it is my jewelry and
ALSO I play a lot of tennis and paddle ball… and that means I whack
that ball as hard as I can right handed of course… So when I go to
use something… things fall out of my hand sometimes… I think I
have them gripped but guessb not enough… also hard to tell what I"m
getting out of my pockets as my second and third finger are NUMB/…
So now the hard part to find a good doctor… Did you have the two
dots or regular surgery??? and were your fingers also numb… I had
this numbness for about 3-4 yrs on the middle finger and this yr the
second finger just go tingly all of a sudden… scary… … Nice to
know you made it ok…lets hope I do to… scarycalgang…PS did
your wrist hurt??? My doesn’t… I also tried a dr that puts needles
in one… but that didn;t help…(couldn’t imagine how to spell his occupation…

Dear Calling: The numbness is very scary. I had it mostly at night
in the first three finger and then it started to migrate up my
arm–so it felt like my arm and hand were made of rubber, or they
tingled so much it kept me awake. When it started to occur during
the day, I began to get really worried. My wrist did not hurt. I
saw a Hand Specialist (here in NY) and he confirmed that I should
have surgery in order to avoid any loss of nerve function in my
fingertips. He did regular surgery. I had heard (this was several
years ago) that some surgeons just make a small slit in the wrist
and get in to relieve the pressure on the nerve that way. But (and
I never really questioned it) I felt that this guy knew what he was
doing with hands. SO I had something like microscopic surgery (I
think that’s the term), under local anesthesia so I was awake during
the process. He even asked me if I would like to watch, but I
declined. Anyway, the scar went from my wrist up into the palm of
my hand, along the ‘lifeline’ for about an inch or so. It has since
healed and is no longer visible. It took about six weeks to fully
heal, and then I had to have the other hand done. However, it was
such a relief I was really glad I did it. I had tried all the
non-surgical things that are recommended, but after a while I felt
like I was just prolonging the problem, and maybe making it worse.

That’s my story. I think the best way to get to making a decision is
to do as much research as you can (as I mentioned the Internet is a
great place to get medical info), try the non surgical things, and
if they don’t work, then find a surgeon you trust and who has done
lots of these before. I even asked the Doctor how many he had done.

Good luck, and let me know how things go. If you have any other
questions, ask away. Sincerely Sandra

Hi, Have you ever tried a chiropractor? I have serious problems with
inflammation (which is what causes CTS) because I have Lupus. CTS
was always a problem for me plus other serious pain and numbness
problems. Once I found and started going regularly to a good
chiropractor, the problems were all resolved and I no longer
experience them.

Worth a try I think!

Tucson, AZ

Everyone, It cannot be stressed enough that if you have Carpal
Tunnel Syndrome, you need to exhaust all other options before
submitting to surgery! A good Chiropractor that adjusts extremities
as well as the spine can work wonders. Preferably one that uses
Applied Kinesiology. My own problem is completely under control and I
have had it for over 20 years. Of all the people I know who have had
the surgery, only 1 or 2 have gotten satisfactory results. All the
rest are worse. Once you cut into the tunnel it will never be the
same as it was before the onset of the problem. At one point I
couldn’t even pick up a hammer. Now I can do anything, including
repetitive tasks that I couldn’t before. My Chiropractor showed be
how to adjust the wrist myself so that I will never have the problem

Mark Thomas Ruby
SunSpirit Designs
Loveland, CO
970 669-7075

Hi Everybody, Regarding carpal tunnel syndrome: I’m a massage
therapist as well as home jeweler and I’ve worked with a lot of
people with this condition. It’s basically a repetitive stress
syndrome, which overdevelops flexor muscles and leaves extensor
muscles flacid. This causes muscle imbalances to develop which are
problematic and aid in creating this condition. Having structural
integration, rolfing, or myofascial release done on the areas is very
effective in releasing the “muscle memory” associated with carpal
tunnel. Also, self-massage using warm castor oil and peanut oil
(both cold-pressed, cold-processed and unrefined) are very effective
in helping this. I “sprained” my middle finger on my right hand in a
mad rush getting ready for a show week before last and it was very
swollen and sore the next day. It responded to ice/heat packs well,
but the healing really sped up when I started using castor
oil/flannel packs on it. And the peanut oil is very helpful for
anyone who works with their hands constantly (like we do). It
nourishes the muscle and bone tissue and keeps it flexible (and helps
ward of arthritis).

There is an exercise device called “Carpal Care” which is basically a
big rubber band attached to a handle. It comes with exercices and
helps to rebalance the musculature of the forearm. It’s certainly
helped me in the past! It’s available from SPRI Medical and Rehab
Products Corp. @ 1-800-345-3456 (at least this is the most current
contact info I have…it’s been several years since I’ve dealt with
them). If anyone would like more info regarding castor oil/flannel
packs, e-mail me at @Thomas_Parker.

Hope this helps everybody!
Take care!

Thanks Joel!!! I wanted very much to tell folks to see a good
chiropractor before going for surgery but wimped out. I too see my
chiropractor for regular tune ups…my wrist with it’s carpel
tunnel symptoms completely back to normal with in hrs of an
adjustment. The way we artists use our hands as tools it’s important
to keep those old bones in alignment so they don’t wear out…I
find it interesting that the majority of people would agree that
proper alignment and balance for our cars is paramount to keeping
them running comfortably and lasting longer, but don’t believe the
same is true for our chaises! Just a thought…Diane over 50 and
hammering away like a kid!

A neurologist is the specialist you need to see if you’re having
problems with numb ness or locking fingers or loss of grip. A
simple test can determine which nerves are being impinged, and you
might be able to avoid surgery altogether by following certain
procedures. I had to sleep with my hands in splints every night for
three months, and avoid leaning on my elbows as much as
possible…but it worked! What you have might or might not be
carpal tunnel syndrome, so get a good
diagnosis and then you can get accurate treatment.


Hi Friends,

As I said a while back, and others have echoed, don’t assume surgery
is the only or best answer to Carpal Tunnel! I consider surgery to be
invasive and potentially dangerous, and should be a last resort after
other options have been explored.

In my previous post on this subject I mentioned Active Release
Technique, practiced by my chiropractor, and a blessing for people
who don’t have advanced CTS with associated nerve damage. There are
cases, which are “too far gone” and do require surgery, according to
my chiro.

He also made me aware of a Web site that contains a directory of
Active Release Technique practitioners. Please do yourself a favor
and explore this before deciding that surgery is the way to go. With
ART, the relief can be immediate… and there is no recovery period
and no scarring.

The Web site is:

All the best,


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

    It's basically a repetitive stress syndrome, which overdevelops
flexor muscles and leaves extensor muscles flacid.  This causes
muscle imbalances to develop which are problematic and aid in
creating this condition. 

While this is an accurate statement it must be noted that what is
actually happening here is that because of this the blood flow to the
muscles in your hands is being reduced. If it is reduced enough then
the muscle starts to atrophy. Once that begins to happen you cannot
get the muscle back to where it was no matter what you do. I waited
seven years before having my surgery, using a variety of methods to
relieve the stress including changing the way I sat at my bench,
icing, drugs, changing the way I held my tools, etc. They all worked
for a period of time but none of it fully resolved the problem over
the long term. I chose surgery when it reached the point that I was
uncomfortable more than I was comfortable. My surgeon went in
through my wrist, leaving a half inch scar, and to this point I have
had no problems. I was back on my bench within three weeks of the
operation (which incidentally took less than 15 minutes). The
traditional medical community has machines that can test whether or
not you have carpal tunnel. Rather than self diagnosing you should
get yourself tested. Then if you want to choose an alternative
medicine or surgery you should do it.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Seems like there are a lot of suggestion and advice regarding how to
manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. We’ve each had a different
experience. I would suggest two major things:1. Make sure the
diagnosis you receive is correct and is based on testing. There is
a test for Carpal Tunnel. 2. And do a great deal of your own
research. Some of the descriptions I’ve read describe completely
different symptoms than I had. Go to Google and type in Carpal
Tunnel, and then pick the that comes from really
reliable sources like Medline, Johns Hopkins University Medical
School etc. Then decide which path then follow to get not only
short term relief but to prevent long term damage as well.

Don’t get scared away by unsupported statements like the ones that
suggest that most people do not benefit from surgery, or even get
worse. I have a strong feeling that we are talking about several
different syndromes that are being lumped under the same name.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you need to exhaust all other options
before submitting to surgery..... 

Aloha Carpal Tunnel SyndrOchidians :frowning:

After I was told I might need surgery - I did some very very
intensive = research to correct my CTS problem on my own with a 20
minute routine = while watching TV at night.

Trust me - this really works… 20 minutes a day for only a month
and = the pain has never returned (knocking on wood) as of yet. Cost
is only = $82.00 the device comes with instruction video.

Balance Systems, Inc. - manufactures “Flextend”, a patented device
for the prevention and rehabilitation of carpal tunnel syndrome and
repetitive strain injuries of the fingers, hand, wrist and elbow.

Best of Luck,
Steve in Hawaii

I, too, have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. Numb fingertips
and throbbing in the thumbs, index and middle finger have
progressively worsened over the past 12 years. A year ago I leared
it is CTS. Didn’t like the approach of my neurologist who suggested
wearing wrist braces for 3+ months and then re-evaluate (for
more$$$). So I went to an accupuncturist, who is also a licensed
dentist. He learned Accupuncture to treat his own CTS, so he would
not have to give up his own dental practice. I’ve had great results
from just two treatments over 8 months. I’m due for another, but
it’s not urgent.

Find a good, reputable accupuncturist (preferably also a licensed
doctor, since accupuncture is not regulated or certified), and I
trust you’ll have as good results as I’ve had. I’m able to
effectively make my jewelry and small sculptures, setting small
stones and crafting tiny components, and dropping them far less
often! Good luck.

Sherry Terao
Jewels By Design, Silver Spring, MD

I am only two days new to Orchid, so I hope that I am responing in
the right format. The following is my experience with a wrist injury
that was caused from making jewelry (twisting motion). It may or may
not be helpful. If you don’t yet have an injury it is definately
something to think about. I have had problems with my right wrist for
almost three years and have seen many different types of doctors. I
have been diagnosed with and treated for tendonitis, I have been
tested for carpal tunnel, and authritis (on more than one occation),
even lyme disease (since it affects the joints). I spent over $1,000
on acupuncture which alleviated the pain, but didn’t end it. I
finally saw a sports doctor and discovered that I have torn
cartilage which doesn’t heal itself. It does require surgery which I
am doing next week, but I know others who have had this surgery on
their knees and have been very happy with the results. I attribute
this injury to making jewelry since I make rings with pretty thick
shanks (4mm x 2mm and such). I was never taught to anneal the metal
when bending the ends of the metal around to meet. Instead of
annealing I muscle it and twist heavily from the wrist. I am strong
enough to pull it off, so I never felt it necessary to anneal once I
learned more about jewelry. The stress that I put on my wrist finally
caused the cartilage to tear. So, if you use a twisting motion a lot
then this may be your problem. Also, let it be a little warning to
those of you who are working like I was. In sympathy, it is a
terribly frustrating injury and difficult to get an accurate
diagnosis. I felt verty defeated. Good luck, I hope that you find a

Karin Backstrom

does everything with a pen pointer on an "art pad" of some sort. -- 

Wacom makes an inexpensive pen pad called “Graphire”. It costs about
a hundred bucks and comes with a cordless mouse and pen and it’s also
bundled with some pretty nice software. All in all, it’s a great
deal. For some applications (like drawing) I find the pen much
easier to use, but writer’s cramp is a definite factor to consider.
Still, it’s a neat gadget.