Hands For Living_A Discussion of Carpel Tunnel Syndrom


What is The Impact of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?

10 Signs That Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Could Be Affecting You!


NEWSLETTER Protecting Your Hands in Gardening… it’s Spring time! By: JoAnn Keller


“Myhands hurt because I worked in theyard all weekend!” This is a common phrase we hear during this timeofyear…Ouryardsandgardens arereturningtotheirfullPacificNorthwestgreen glory,andeveryone’sworkinghardtotrim,weed, mow, mulch, and tidy their little corner of the world. Keep in mind these tips and tricks to keep your hands (and back and body!) safe while gardening. 1. Pace yourself. Your hands and body will thankyou for doingyouryardwork in smaller doses, rather than a marathon weekend or one big push. 2. Take frequent breaks. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments need a chance to rest,even ifyouaren’t feelingsoreorwinded. Aim for at least 5-10 minutes each hour of ACTUAL rest – or at least doing an easier chore or preparing for the next heavy tasks. 3. Use good tools. Sharpen the mower, sharpen your pruning tools. Use big tools for big jobs. Use tools that are a goodmatch for your body size and the needs of the task. 4. Wear gloves. Even small cuts can be an entry-point for bacteria or fungus that can lead to infections. A small prick from a rose bush can lead to a finger or arm threatening injury! 5. Share the load. Ask forhelpwhenyouneed it. Doingyard work as a teamwith a friend or familymember can be twice the fun, and half the wear on your hands and body! 6. Get professional help early if needed. If you have pain that lasts more than a week or two after a big gardening project, seek help! It’s easier to eliminate the pain sooner so that you can enjoy the rest of the spring and summer!


Are you in Pain? Call Today And Start Feeling Better Fast! 425-368-7943


Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Get treatment and return to your normal activities


Have you ever had to stop and “shake out” your hands while typing on a computer or smart phone? If so, your hand (or hands)maybeaffectedbyacommonnerve impingementcalled carpal tunnel syndrome—indeed, one of the most common types of work-relatedmusculoskeletal injuries affecting hard- working Americans. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The carpal tunnel is an anatomical space inside your wrist formed by bones and ligaments; this space literally acts as a tunnel through which tendons, nerves, and bloodvessels pass from the forearm into the hand. The median nerve (which branches off the “nerve highway” in your shoulder called your brachial plexus) runs from your forearm toyour hand; it too passes through the carpal tunnel. It provides sensoryandmotor information to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and inside half of the ring finger. If the median nerve becomes compressed by something in the carpal tunnel area, impingement, inflammation, and injury can occur to the nerve tissue.This, in essence, is carpal tunnel syndrome.Whydoes it happen?To whomdoes it occur?What does it feel like? Let’s explore. 10 Signs That Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Could Be Affecting You 1. Your thumb, index finger, and middle finger in particular feel numb, burning, itchy, and tingly. These symptoms tend to come on gradually at first and may come and go. Many of us sleep with flexed wrists, which can increase the pressure on an already impingedmedian nerve. As mentioned, many people with carpal tunnel syndrome feel like they have to “shake out” their hands to make the symptoms go away. 3. Your fingers may feel swollen, even if they aren’t. 4. Your wrist is painful, stiff, and tender. 5. Your symptoms appear in your dominant hand first. 6. You have a hard time grasping items. You may struggle with tasks such as picking up your phone or opening doors. 7. You have trouble performing fine motor tasks. Your dexterityand finemotor skills like pincer grip can become impaired due to both weakness and numbness. 2. The numbness and tingling in your hand or hands wakes you up in the night.

Exercises designed by Neil Trickett, Apr 4 2018



Wrist Movements | Flexion &




Hand relaxed, palm down

Be No


Bend wrist down while spreading fi Now bend wrist up while making a f

8. The muscles at the base of your thumb atrophy Eventually, the fleshy base of your thumb, called the thenar eminence,cangetsmallerandweakerduetoprolongedmedian nerve damage. 9. You have several positive risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome. Anything that causes space in the carpal tunnel to decrease can compress the median nerve. Here of the most common risk factors: • Other health conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, overactive pituitary gland, or under-active thyroid gland • Cyst or tumor development in the carpal tunnel • Repetitive stress or movement in the wrist, especiallythose related to a person’s occupation (e.g., frequent typing, assembly line work, sewing, use of vibrational tools, etc.) • Usually, some combination of the above or additional factors will be at play, but it may not always be fully clear. 10. You’re a woman. According to the National Institute of Health, women are about three times as likelyas men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome (often noted as CTS). • A history of wrist or hand injury • Cigarette smoking (increases inflammation) • Pregnancy (increases fluid retention)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20355603 https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet

Finding Relief with Hand Therapy It’s an essential component for conservative recoveryfrom carpal tunnel syndrome. Here’s what to expect in a typical plan of care for carpal tunnel syndrome, keeping in mind that every patient presentation is unique: • Exercises to promote tissue healing, reduced swelling, improved coordination, and forearm and hand muscle strengthening • Modalities, such as paraffin bath or therapeutic ultrasound • Ergonomicmodifications (e.g., improveddesksetup,ergonomic keyboard) • Prescription of wrist splints to be worn at night or while at work (to keep the wrist from bending) • The goal of the hand therapist are twofold: reduce or eliminate the painful symptoms, and reduce or eliminate the underlying causes of median nerve compression and damage. Insummary,carpaltunnelsyndrome isanuncomfortableandoften debilitating condition which can lead to longer-term complications if it’s not addressed properly. So, ifyou believeyoumaybe dealing with telltale signs or symptoms, or if you believe your occupation or daily tasks are placing you at risk, then contact a healthcare professional near you for help, or ask your doctor for a referral to a Hands For Living hand therapist.

Hand Exercise Helps With Weakness and Pain

Wrist Movements Flexion & Hand

ses designed by Neil Trickett, Apr 4 2018


Preparation: Hand relaxed, palm down Execution:


Bend wrist down while spreading fingers. Now bend wrist up while making a fist. t Movements | Flexion & Hand Opening + Extension & Hand Closing


Hand relaxed, palm down Hand Opening + Extension & Hand Closing


Bend wrist down while spreading fingers. Now be d wrist u while making a fist.

Bend wrist up, make a fist


g fingers. a fist.

Patient Spotlights StaffSpotlight “Thank you for giving me my hand back!” Bend wrist down, spread fingers Bend wrist up, make a fist

Melissa Shea, Office Manager Melissa is the first personyou’ll meet whenyou schedule therapywith us. She is your number one advocate and information source regarding insurance,authorizationsandbilling. She’s also a wizard at making sure you get visits scheduled at the best times for your life and work.

“Thank you, Laurie and JoAnn, for giving me back my hand! When I came to you, I was pretty discouraged. I couldn’t even write a grocery list, and the inability to write was significantly impacting both my professional and personal life. Writing is a large part of what I do for my job, and it’s my most satisfying personal pastime. Today, I can write for as long as I want and it’s pain-free! What a difference! I just wanted to thank you both for helping me achieve this important restoration.” - Donna Cameron

Melissa came to us through her friendship with our therapist, Laurie. She had lots of office experience, but nomedical expertise when she started. Over time, her knowledge of how insurance and billing works has made her a knowledge sourceyou can count on. Please feel free to contact her with any questions or issues you might have about insurance or scheduling. When she’s not working, Melissa enjoys running, walking her dog, hiking and hanging out with her 3 “almost grown” kids and her husband.


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