The Carpal Tunnel Cure
Originally Posted: Goop.com
Date: October 1, 2015
Regardless of our best intentions to sit with perfect posture, sore wrists seem to be a mainstay. And texting ad nauseum certainly doesn’t help. We turned to our resident integrative specialist, Lauren Roxburgh for some tips on lower arm health.
By, Lauren Roxburgh
After yet another long day at the computer, who hasn’t experienced sore and achy wrists? It’s a common problem—and one that hopefully goes away when you get to take a break from the keyboard. But wrist problems, especially Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), have become an epidemic in this digital age where taking a break is getting increasingly hard to do.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is basically an irritation or inflammation that causes compression on the median nerve. The resulting symptoms manifest around the wrists and can cause pain, tingling, and numbness. CTS is typically caused by repetitive movements that cause strain and injury—tapping on your keyboard or cell phone for hours each day being classic examples. When treating this ailment, conventional medicine typically focuses on the wrist and surgery is often the solution with a cut being made to the transverse carpal tunnel ligament to relieve pressure on the median nerve. The problem is that this sort of surgery often just treats the symptoms and doesn’t necessarily get to the root of the issue.
As someone who deals with fascia and alignment every day, my perspective on CTS is a bit more holistic. Since fascia is a continuous web that wraps around every muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint, I’ve found that symptoms in one area can often be traced back to problems in another area. And because the median nerve actually originates in the neck and shoulder area, I like to look at the entire shoulder girdle and the pathway the median nerve takes down the arm.
What I’ve observed in clients is that it is actually postural problems that are the real culprits. Think about it for a second: We spend so much of our day driving, texting, or typing and this often causes our arms to rotate inwards and our heads to slump forward, knocking our posture out of alignment.
Combine this poor posture with repetitive movements and over time scar tissue will build up in the fascia around the median nerve, decreasing blood flow and ultimately creating the pain and numbness we associate with CTS. Sure you can simply snip a ligament—but why take such drastic measures in one area when some techniques to correct the alignment of another area might address the issue?
Here are a few simple tips to help to unwind the rotation of the arms. Creating space and bringing the body back into a healthy alignment not only boosts circulation, it also helps “lubricate” the connective tissue, and muscles of the chest neck, shoulders, forearms, wrists, and thumbs, which can have huge benefits in reducing inflammation or discomfort in the wrists.
To see the full routine, click through to Goop.com.