hand pain, Uncategorized, wrist pain

Are you Losing your Grip?

Do you find that the older you get the weaker your grip becomes? Think it is just because you are older? Do you think something is wrong or are you trying to increase the strength in your hands with little to no improvement? Don’t feel frustrated as many people 40 and over have come to see me after trying everything. The secret is, it may not be a strength issue. Instead it could be a tightness issue in various parts of your hand and arm. This tightness can make you feel weak and when you express your thoughts about it, most therapists will start strength training plans to help you. For the short term, it may help, but in the long term it can have a detrimental affect.

Strength training your hands is very easy. Take a rubber band and wrap it around each finger and thumb. Practice spreading your fingers in all directions until they fatigue. rest for 2 minutes and then do it again. You can also take a tennis ball and practice squeezing it. Hold each squeeze as long as you can. As you are holding, count until your hand lets go, then try to beat that time when you practice again. These you can do anytime and anywhere which makes them perfect for the busy person. If you go to a gym, you can use grip machines and dumb bells to strengthen your hands and forearms. Never forget, that when you strengthen any muscles you will make them tighter. This tightness can work against you. Think of a body builder that is too stiff to move.

Sometimes the weakness can come from your muscles being to tight and there are steps you can take to reduce the tightness anywhere, anytime. You do this one at the office, sitting in meetings, or hanging with friends. You can do it sitting or standing, whichever works for you. Place the palms of your hands together with each finger and thumb mirroring the opposite hand. Make the palms are touching.Now use the right hand to press down on the left hand to make the left wrist bend backwards, Hold for 3-5 seconds and reverse to stretch the right wrist. You can do these 8-10 times each way. Next take the left hand, using the thumb and index finger to squeeze between the right thumb and index in that v-shaped area. Squeeze just hard enough to feel the soreness, breathe out and let the muscle relax. Too hard and you cannot breathe out. Too little and there is no effect. Do this until the pain stops then move to another part of that area. You can even do this at the base of the thumb to the wrist. Then move to rubbing between the bones of the fingers to soften the entire hand. Make sure you do both hands and not just the one that hurts. You can stretch each finger back, one at a time. Optimally, each finger should go back up to 90 degrees to the hand.Start slow and work your way up to there, if you can’t do it yet. You can stretch the thumb as well. Place the fingers of the left hand around the thumb of the right hand. Place the left thumb at the base of the right thumb. Your left thumb is acting like a brace. Gently pull the right thumb back with the left hand stretching out the webbing of the right hand. If you feeling any stiffness at the base of the thumb, this one is perfect! There are more videos of these stretches on my YouTube Channel, The Muscle Repair Shop.if you have any questions you can contact me at butch@musclerepairshop.com. Youc an visit my website at http://www.musclerepairshop.com.

elbow pain, wrist pain

Get Rid of Carpal Tunnel Once and For All!

My client, Emily, was totally frustrated with her carpal tunnel. She had been wearing a wrist brace for years after enduring 2 carpal tunnel surgeries. She thought that the surgery would fix her hand. Instead, the pain went from her hand to her elbow, which was diagnosed as cubital tunnel syndrome. Again, another surgery followed by a brace, and still there was pain. On her flight to Florida, she grabbed her suitcase and felt immense pain in her neck and shoulders. Her girlfriend referred her to me when she saw Emily in tears,mostly from the frustration and fear of not being able to use her arm.

Emily’s problem started in her hand and is still coming from her hand. Most of us have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome and understand there is a tunnel in our wrist area called the carpal tunnel. We have a total of 26 muscles in our forearms that run from our elbow to our fingers. These muscles allow us to open and close our hand. When we grip things, we are engaging the muscles on the bottom of our forearm which run through our carpal tunnel in our wrist and press on the median nerve which runs right next to these muscles.

Carpal tunnel is usually described as a result of repetitive actions like typing on a computer or cash register. However, it can be caused by gripping a steering wheel too tight, or a gold club or tennis racket. When travelling, gripping the suitcase handle can cause carpal tunnel syndrome as well. Doesn’t it sound ominous, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Surgery does relieve the pain temporarily, however since you use your hands every day it will come back. That is why so many people wear the wrist braces. It is not a strength issue as described by many therapist and trainers. It has more to do with overuse and not knowing how to release the strain from the overuse. Which means once you know how to release the pressure, you can prevent the pain from coming back at all.

I n your forearm there are 26 muscles and 2 bones that run from your elbow to your wrist. From the wrist, there 5 muscles that continue through the carpal tunnel on the bottom of the wrist to each of your fingers. In that tunnel lays the median nerve and when pressure is applied to the nerve by the muscles,pain occurs in your hand and fingers. so how do you fix it?

Using your opposite hand, apply a little pressure to your forearm and feel for sore spots. Don’t squeeze hard thinking you are going to force it out. You will only make it worse. Apply just enough pressure to feel the sore spots. When you find one, it may hurt a lot at the beginning, if so, lighten the pressure a little, breathe out, and allow your brain to relax the muscle. Do this all over your forearm until the muscles feel softer than cotton candy. No matter how strong you are, your muscles should feel soft for more freedom of movement.

Next , make a light fist with the painful hand, bending at the elbow. Place the opposite hand over your fist and gently press down. Again, you are not going to force it down and if you try, you may make the pain worse. It is not, no pain, no gain here! Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. Breathe out each time and allow your brain the chance to relax the muscles. Finally, stand next to a table and place your painful hand palm down with the fingers pointing behind you. Gently lean into the wrist and feel the muscles in your forearm stretch. Hold for 3-5 seconds and repeat 8-10 times. You can do this 3-5 times a day. It will only take a few minutes each time, but it will keep it away.

We cannot stop doing everything we need to do to survive or have fun. Wearing a brace may stop the pain today, but it will cause the muscles to weaken and increase the pain later which will result in multiple surgeries. Who has time for that? Emily’s wrist pain stopped within 5 days and she has been pain free for the last 2 years without the brace. In fact she donated the brace to a friend.

To learn more about how to stop common aches and pains, subscribe to this blog or go to my website at http://www,musclerepairshop.com

I have videos at my YouTube channel, The Muscle Repair Shop, which are free to watch.

elbow pain, hand pain, wrist pain

Are you Suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Nearly 10 million people per year suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS) each year in America. We are clear on the symptoms and what is exactly causing the pain at the moment of pain. However, we are not so clear on things we do to cause that pain to occur. Every health care practitioner can explain that the pain comes from the 4 tendons running through the carpal tunnel on the bottom side of your wrist are inflamed and presses against the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. The question is, what causes the tendons to inflame?

The inflammation is not the same inflammation you get when a part of your body swells or edema. That can be stopped by using ice. The type of inflammation is caused by the repetitive use of the forearm muscles in the bottom side of your arm. The term repetitive use does not mean doing the same thing over and over, but the continual use of these muscles. The 4 muscles on the bottom side of your forearm, the flexor muscles, allow you to grip anything you want to pick up, move, or hold. Driving your car and holding too tight on the steering wheel. Playing a sport that requires you hold a racket, bat, or club in order to play. Holding a cup of coffee, typing, or writing can cause this inflammation. There is no way to stop the inflammation from happening because we all do these things daily and are not going to stop.

There are several treatment plans available that most people have tried with limited success. Strength exercises may help in the short term but will cause the pain to get worse over time because you are shortening the muscles. Braces are very popular and do help in relieving some pain, but without changing what you are doing daily, it is just going to get worse. Plus over time the brace will stop working as well too. Injections can help as a short-term relief, but again, it will come back. Finally, surgery is a treatment many doctors use and it is only a short-term fix for your pain. I know it can be frustrating, but the problem is, we are not looking at the cause!

Any time you use your hands and fingers you are creating inflammation in the flexor muscles( bottom side) of your forearm. As the muscles contract to move your fingers and hands, they are burning the fuel ATP which leaves a waste product in the muscle fiber called lactic acid. You cannot drink enough water to wash it out. there are no pills to make it go away. The only way to get rid of it is to massage it out and then do a couple of simple stretches for your wrist and forearm. When you are massaging your forearm, don’t just rub, but use your thumb to press in various spots on your forearm looking for sore spots. When you find one, maintain the pressure, and breathe allowing your brain to release those muscles. Your forearms should be as soft as cotton candy regardless of how strong you are. Work up and down your arm.

The first stretch is to stand next to a table that you can place your hand flat on the table. Make sure your fingers are pointing behind you and lean into the stretch. Not too hard as your brain will fight with you, but just enough that you can begin to feel the stretch. Breathe and let your brain release the muscles in your forearm. The second stretch, make a light fist with the affected hand and bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on top of your fist and gently pull down.  This will stretch the fingers that are tight from gripping too hard. Finally, place both hands together, like you are praying, keep both against your stomach and press one hand down to stretch the bottom wrist. Be sure to always do both sides in each of these exercises. You can see videos on my website, http://www.musclerepairshop.com.