How to Eliminate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Musicians

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Are you a musician struggling with disabling wrist and finger pain, numbness, tingling or paresthesia (pins and needles) in the thumb, index, middle or one-half of the ring finger, including swelling and / or muscle atrophy of the thenar eminence (base of thumb)? If so, you could be suffering from a severe disorder known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects millions of people each year and is caused by compression of the median nerve that begins in the cervical spine and travels through the shoulder joint through the Brachial Plexus (between the upper pectoral muscle and the clavicle / collar bone), down to the elbow and through the carpal tunnel within the wrist joint. The median nerve is coexists within the carpal tunnel along side nine flexor tendons that allow flexion of the fingers and wrist as well as gripping and pincer movements. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is problematic for almost any profession; it can be entirely disabling for musicians.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most widely diagnosed hand disorder that stems from excessive overuse of the finger and wrist flexor muscles that are subjected to repetitive and/or static (non-moving) flexion of the fingers and wrist against resistance. This unidirectional (one direction) force causes these muscles to increase in strength and hypertonicity (tightness) and decrease in length, resulting in a muscle imbalance in the hand and forearm. This causes the overly short, tight flexor muscles that close the hand to compress the underlying flexor tendons and median nerve which is central to the overall function of the hand.

With repetitive unidirectional motions / activities being performed on a regular basis, the imbalanced muscles in the hand and forearm can also cause the carpal bones that form the carpal tunnel to become misaligned, creating pressure and pain in the wrist as the bones compress the median nerve and flexor tendons within. Critically, it is not only carpal tunnel syndrome that can result from an existing muscle imbalance in the hand and arm, but also other repetitive strain injuries that involve the ulnar and radial nerves at the wrist or elbow junctions. Thus, effective treatment must address any and all muscle length and strength imbalances that exist in the entire upper extremity region.

For musicians, carpal tunnel syndrome can be a death sentence on life as they know it. Having the fingers, hand and wrist completely debilitated, musicians may have to modify posture, arm and hand position, practice and performance routines. It is impossible to play the piano, strum the guitar, or manipulate the bow of a cello without being pain-free or superb dexterity and responsiveness in the fingers and wrist. Rest is often the first-line recommendation for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is an option that few professionals can afford to take.

Thankfully, there are effective treatments that can protect against the development of carpal tunnel syndrome in musicians and that can curb the impact of symptoms as soon as they emerge. The strategically designed Flextend exercises target specific muscles and groups of muscles in the hand and forearm have been shown to reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome with more than 95 percent effectiveness.

If anyone recommends gripping, squeezing, pinching or finger-walking exercises, run the other direction, as these are the exercises / movements that musicians perform too much of in the first place and are the muscles that are already overused on a daily basis, the reason they are short, tight and restrictive. Musicians need to strengthen the opposite finger and wrist extensor muscles and finger abductor muscles, the muscles that open the hand and spread the fingers apart.

It is that simple. Keeping muscle groups with 25% strength of each other will reduce muscle and joint imbalance, reducing the possibility of musicians becoming afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome or other finger, hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries is the key to being symptom-free.

It is important to consult with a physician or healthcare professional before beginning any type of exercises program for the treatment of repetitive strain injuries.

For More Information Call 1-888-274-5444 to learn more about what you can do to safely treat carpal tunnel syndrome.


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