CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME HELPED with ESWT in the BAY AREA

“ESWT can be as useful as Corticosteroid (CS) injection for relieving symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Furthermore, in contrast to CS injection, it has the merit of being noninvasive” [1].                                              -American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome helped with ESWT

  • Relief from carpal tunnel syndrome with extracorporeal shockwave therapy 
  • Type and text with freedom 
  • Avoid surgery with ESWT

Whether you’re a gamer, mouser, sewer, clicker or keyboarder you are susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.  Over 3% of working adults in the Bay Area had carpal tunnel syndrome in the last 12 months.  Repetitive hand and/or wrist usage seems to be a huge culprit.

HOW DO WE GET CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the median nerve in your wrist gets impinged by the surrounding tissue.  Chronic inflammation can lead to scar tissue and a narrowing of the carpal tunnel. This is where the median nerve is compressed.  This can lead to pain, weakness and/or numbness of the hand and wrist that radiates up the arm.

SYMPTOMS OF CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROMEThe carpal tunnel as it relates to ESWT

  • Tingling or numbness in your hand and/or wrist
  • Shooting pain in your wrist and arm
  • Cramping pain
  • Itchy numbness in the palm of the hand
  • Thumb, index and middle fingers are most affected
  • Waking up at night with a numb hand

 

EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY (ESWT) AND CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Help for carpal tunnel syndrome with ESWT

Dr. Fields of San Jose, CA treating carpal tunnel syndrome with extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)

With ESWT, specific sound waves are directed into the carpal tunnel.  Here, normal tissue ripples and inflammation is flushed but, most importantly, tendons thickened due to scar tissue are thinned and made more malleable. Scar tissue is brittle like uncooked spaghetti and breaks when force is applied.  This is true for other tendon conditions all over the body with adversely thickened tendons.  We see it and have research on it in patellar tendinopathies, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, achilles tendinopathy and many more.

When the tendons are their proper size, scar tissue is resorbed by your body and inflammation is lessened, the median nerve no longer is compressed and the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms go.

WHAT IF YOU HAD CARPAL TUNNEL SURGERY AND YOU STILL HAVE SYMPTOMS?

A lot of people in the Bay Area have already had carpal tunnel surgery and still have symptoms or they came back.  If we use our Piezowave 2 shockwave machine in the area and there is still scar tissue, or there is post surgical scar tissue, there you will feel it going to work cleaning out the area from unwanted adhesions.  The feedback your body gives with this specific machine is amazing.  

There is also a complication from carpal tunnel syndrome surgery called, pillar pain.  This is when the ligament that is cut during surgery (transverse retinacular ligament) is inflamed and brings on a lot of pain.  Well, a prominent medical journal said this about pillar pain and ESWT:

“Our results show that in all of the treated patients, there was a marked improvement: the mean visual analogue pain scale (VAS) score decreased from 6.18 to 0.44 after treatment, and redness and swelling of the surgical scar had also decreased significantly” [2].

It’s not too late to get some relief.  Give us a call and visit our Los Gatos office (408) 274-2244

*Note that other contributing factors can be in play with carpal tunnel syndrome such as a obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, a sprain or fracture, hypothyroidism, spinal nerve compression and more.  This will come out in your history and exam and will be addressed if needed.

HOME CARE SUGGESTIONS FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

  • Yoga
  • Rest affected wrist
  • Splinting/Immobilization
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and juices
  • Proper computer ergonomics
  • Work stretching breaks
  • When being treated with ESWT refrain from ice or anti-inflammatory drugs
Stretching extensor muscles can help carpal tunnel syndrome

Stretching forearm extensors

Stretches for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Stretching forearm flexors

Tendon gliding exercise for carpal tunnel syndrome

Tendon gliding exercise

Tendon gliding exercise for carpal tunnel syndrome

Should be done without pain

Making a fist with tendon gliding exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome

Hold tight fist for 3 seconds

  1. Seok H, Kim SH. The Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy vs. Local Steroid Injection for Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2013;92:327Y334
  2. Romeo P1, d’Agostino MC, Lazzerini A, Sansone VC. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy in pillar pain after carpal tunnel release: a preliminary study. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2011 Oct;37(10):1603-8. doi: 10.1016 Los Gatos