Restoring Health and Wellness Center


100 N. Winchester Blvd Suite 102 Santa Clara, CA 95050 phone: (408) 248-8700

Natural Alternatives to Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Most of us are familiar with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) also called "computer wrist".  In his book The Natural Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Dr. Ray C. Wunderlich, Jr., details numerous causes of CTS other than the repetitive motion cause that most of us know about.  Dr. Wunderlich states CTS should be viewed as a repair deficit, and that the body's failure to repair the problem can be due to inadequate raw materials needed for the repair such as Vitamin C, glucosamine, amino acids, manganese, etc.  He also tells us that stress can be a cause.  Stress leads to tight muscles, which are usually accompanied by a relative lack of blood supply and an inordinate build-up of waste products such as lactic acid.  He also provides information on pseudo-CTS which has its origin not in the wrist, but in the neck, shoulder, or arm.  Many people even have surgery for CTS but still retain the symptoms because their problem was truly pseudo-CTS and surgery was done prior to trying other methods which might have better addressed the issue.  

Dr. Wunderlich's book emphasizes working with a conventional medical practitioner in order to properly diagnose CTS; however he also cites a wide range of treatment options that are non-surgical.  These include:

  • Workplace adjustments such as building in stretch breaks and exercises, ergonomic verification and making sure vision is properly corrected. 
  • Physical fitness for both its conditioning and therapeutic power (but not until acute inflammation is successfully eliminated).
  • Nutritional measures to insure that dietary deficiencies are not part of the cause.
  • Glandular treatment which may be a contributor to the cause in some people.
  • Physical and neuromuscular therapies including massage, application of hot and cold packs, and herbal poultices.
  • Microcurrent electrical stimulation which can promote healing of nerves and calm inflammation.
  • Chiropractic.
  • Acupuncture or acupressure.
  • Reflexology.

He also suggests nutitional medicine be considered in lieu of the anti-inflammatory drugs that most physicians recommend.  While drugs can suppress the inflammation that causes pain, many persons have gastrointestinal side effects including chronic gastritis or ulcers and these medications many also contain fillers, sugars and other contents which add to the body's burden of foreign chemicals and can actually impede tissue repair.  Finally, he urges initial conservative, natural therapies such as those defined above and suggests reserving surgery only for those patients who fail to respond to natural therapies. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with CTS symptoms, please share this information and suggest they consider some of the recommended non-surgical alternatives we offer at RHWC.  We're always pleased to work together with the client's medical doctor to define a treatment program.

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