FAQ – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [ CTS ]

Intracell Technology™ – an overview in cumulative trauma disorders

  • It is not only the rate of muscle fatigue that reveals the problem, but the rate of muscle recovery as well.
  • Muscle recovery is dependent on a nutrient rich and oxygen laden blood supply.
  • Restricted blood flow occurs in generalized muscle tightness as well as localized muscle bundle shortening.
  • Stretching procedures address generalized muscle tightness but fail to inactivate the segmental, ischemic muscle bundle.
  • This shortened muscle bundle [or knot] is the reflex mechanism of a barrier trigger point.
  • The INTRACELL® Stick® provides painless non-invasive myofascial release, which inactivates trigger points and muscle tightness.
  • This biomechanical release calms the reflex mechanism which allows relaxation of the myofascia.
  • The return of non-restricted blood flow physiologically promotes healing and elevates both quality and quantity of motion.

FAQs . . .

Q: What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [ CTS ]?

A: CTS means there is a painful pressure against the median nerve which runs through a tunnel formed by wrist bones. No local etiology for nerve compression is commonly detectable.

Q: Why is it called “carpal tunnel’?

A: Anatomically, the tunnel is formed by the carpal bones of the wrist, which is deepened by the tubercles of the scaphoid and trapezium on the radial side and by the pisiform and hook of the hammate on the ulnar side. This concavity is converted into a tunnel by the tough flexor retinaculum which stretches between the tubercle of the scaphoid and ulnar styloid.

Q: What passes through the tunnel?

A: The eight flexor tendons of the fingers, the long flexor tendon of the thumb, and the median nerve all share space in the tunnel.

Q: Who is the primary target?

A: Although CTS affects people in many fields – it is common among drivers, draftsmen, secretaries, meat cutters, musicians, assembly workers, tennis players, canoe paddlers, carpenters, needlepoint stitchers and others. It is best known for its effect on users of computer keyboards.

Q: Do other conditions contribute to CTS?

A: According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “Other conditions associated with CTS include arthritis, diabetes, pregnancy and hormonal changes that occur during menopause.”

Q: What is the prevalence of CTS in the general population?

A: According to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], “Symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling in the hands are common in the general population, suggesting that one in five people who report these symptoms may have carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS].”

Q: Who are the risk takers?

A: According to a recent report form Purdue University, “When a person increases the amount of time spent at the keyboard form one hour to four hours a day, they also increase the probability of acquiring CTS from 45% to 92%.

Q: What is the earliest sign?

A: According to Barbara Guse, PT, an authority in cumulative trauma, “The first symptom is muscle fatigue. Later there is intermittent achiness or burning sensations in the muscles.” Muscle weakness is an early sign in most any soft tissue lesion.

Q: Is CTS a condition of “overuse”?

A: Although it is classified as an overuse injury, Intracell Technology likes to think of it as a failure to recover. A study at the University of Michigan, sponsored by NIOSH, suggested that, “It is the repetition of tasks without adequate recovery time that causes the inflammation.”

Q: Is hand position a factor?

A: Working with hands bent upward at the wrists or frequently bending the wrists sideways exaggerates the amount of friction inside the carpal passage, requiring longer recovery time.

Q: What limb is most vulnerable?

A: The extremity of dominant use is usually involved. When bilateral, the extremity of dominant use is commonly involved first and is more severe.

Q: How is the diagnosis confirmed?

A: Although a standard criteria for diagnosing the syndrome has not been established, the definitive diagnostic procedure is electrodiagnostic studies of the median nerve. These studies may confirm CTS accurately in most cases, however, false positive tests can and do occur.

Q: What are the cardinal nerve symptoms?

A: Pain, tingling & numbness in the thumb and first 3 fingers.

Q: Does pain and weakness of the fingers and hand always mean CTS?

A: NO – It has been estimated that fewer than 6% of those reporting symptoms have true CTS.

Q: What is the early treatment?

A: Stabilizing the wrist joint with cock-up splints is a common practice. The Center for Carpal Tunnel Studies in Paradise Valley, AZ, however, reports about 70% improvement of symptoms with myofascial release.

Q: What abut rest periods at work?

A: Russian studies have shown that muscle recovers faster with massage than with rest. This finding is substantiated by Intracell Technology.

Q: Is on the job stretching helpful?

A: When muscle tires it shortens. The goal of traditional stretching is to return muscle to it natural length. Segmental stretching, however, is much more helpful because muscle does not uniformly shorten.

Q: What is segmental stretching?

A: Intracell Technology explains segmental stretching as, “The art of biomechanically extinguishing barrier trigger points prior to and during traditional stretching.”

Q: How can CTS be avoided?

A: Variation of hand use, which encourages muscle recovery, is a key factor in avoidance. Muscle recovers best with a copious, nutrient-rich blood supply.

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