Today we are in a seated position and we’re going to talk about carpal tunnel as well as wrist pain. The biggest thing I have to say about carpal tunnel and wrist pain is that when you are looking at it from a symptomatic view, it’s all about where the pain is located and where the extensors or flexors are located. Yet with carpal tunnel, most of the time it goes up towards the top of the body and that is the problem. In this area, we are referring to shoulder issues, neck issues, and the T-spine as well. If you’re looking for a solution to the problem for long-term, go upstream to where the shoulder, neck and thoracic spine are located.
Today, however, we will talk about what is happening within the wrist itself and the symptomatic view of wrist pain. Someone asked me about this, so I’m giving this tip to you. For wrist pain, I think the most effective treatment method is doing trigger point work. As you guys know, I dislocated my carpals as a teenager playing basketball, so my wrists broke. That is what got me started on this whole journey for recovery. As a massage therapist, every other week I was out and it was horrible so I perfected this technique for myself. That is the key here. This hits home for me in many ways because I couldn’t do the things that I loved, such as helping people.
What I’m going to show you is some easy breaks you can do to get the pain to subside dramatically. However, remember that this is a symptomatic view, not a systematic view. During the symptomatic view, you’ll get guaranteed short-term gain. Some of the trigger points can refer to different places but we are only going to be looking at it in specific areas. I’m going to give you a visual of the muscle tissue. So when you’re looking at anything that I refer to regarding on trigger point work, it is about the general area. It will never refer to that one point, because you’re never going to find that one point in the plethora of fibers that you have. You want to think about it in terms of muscle groups that are causing pain in that general area.
So if you have a trigger finger, we will be looking at the muscle group that runs along the forearm. Whatever happens at the top is also happening in the flexors, at the bottom, as well. So the top of your forearm can mirror the part underneath your forearm. You will be trigger-pointing both sides of your forearm, for wrist pain. I’m only going to show you a couple of muscles on one side and you’re just going to mirror it to the other side.
Within your extensors, you want to realize that the pain in the elbow refers down to the hand and it’s not always right around where the real problem is. It’s important to remember your pain is always someplace else. There’s always something driving it someplace else.
One area in your extensors is very close to the elbow and you then have to work your way down. Another area is the thinner muscle you feel when you rotate your forearm slightly. This muscle on the outside refers pain exactly in the center. This muscle is always going to be inflamed and irritated. The next area to look at is the outside of the forearm itself. So, from the top view, you’re looking at the forearm at three different areas: you’re going to be focusing on the middle, the inside, and outside. Once you do that, then your body is going to really start moving.
Please be mindful of what’s happening because as you change things at the top, the bottom will also change. In carpal tunnel syndrome, there is a small, inflamed hole that holds all the tendons around your wrist. This inflammation now starts to crush the tendon, which causes the entire wrist to get tighter.
So, if you start loosening all these areas, they are going to work harder and therefore hurt more. Remember, you have to balance what you’re doing at the bottom, by your wrist, with what is happening at the top, by the shoulder, neck, and T-spine. So that’s going to be key here.
I will now show you the techniques you can use to clean it up. The easiest way to clean up the trigger points within your forearm is to use the handball. Many people use other types of balls, but I’m all about listening to your body and staying in that discomfort zone instead of giving it pain. I like using the handball because it allows for communication by pushing back, thus allowing you to feel what areas need to be worked on. Put the handball close to your elbow, let your forearm relax, and place the arm against the wall. You want to make sure your handball is in between the wall and your elbow. Now you are going to push your body against your forearm and let it relax. Once you do that, everything now starts to open up. You’re going to hold it there while you feel your trigger point, and then relax your forearm. Move your forearm backwards a little as you continue to do this. Then you are going to rotate your forearm upwards, and follow the same procedure. Afterwards, you want to rotate your forearm downwards, and apply the same technique. You will feel some sort of discomfort, but it should not be painful. You can still talk and make a note of the points that are irritated. Now you are going to cross your forearms behind your back and place the handball right on the forearm. You can lean against the wall and apply a similar pressure. This is the easiest way to clean up those trigger points on the forearm.