Tag Archives: Medical Advice

Carpal Tunnel

by Cassandra DenHartog PTA, LMT

Carpal tunnel is a condition where structures of the carpal tunnel put pressure on the nerves. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist, about an inch wide. The floor and sides of the tunnel are formed by small wrist bones called carpal bones. The median nerve and flexor tendons that bend the fingers and thumb run through this structure.

Tingling, pain, numbness, and burning can all be felt when pressure is put on the median nerve. This can vary in severity from mild discomfort to fiery pain and total loss of function. So how does this happen? Usually it’s caused from inflammation and irritation in that area. The carpal tunnel is small, so it does not take a lot of irritation to start putting pressure on the median nerve. Every time you grip something, use your thumb, or bend the wrist you are moving those flexor tendons. Now imagine the fan belt, or any belt for that matter, in your car. It’s made to move, constantly. But it can fray and sometimes wear down and become damaged if it’s been used a long time. The same goes for the flexor tendons. Overuse often cause irritation, inflammation, and sometimes damage can occur. When this happens, increased pressure is put on the median nerve causing the symptoms of carpal tunnel.

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What’s Causing My Shoulder Pain?

BY CASSANDRA DENHARTOG

This is always a difficult question, due to numerous problems that could happen and the fact that the shoulder is made up of several boney, muscular, and ligamentous structures. Let’s start off with a little anatomy review.

The shoulder is made up of three large muscles collectively called the deltoids, 4 rotator cuff muscles, and several other muscles.

The deltoids individually are the anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, and posterior deltoid. These muscles help the arm with flexion (moving forward), abduction (taking the arm away from the body), and extension (bringing the arm back behind the body).

Four muscles together make up the rotator cuff.This is commonly, incorrectly, called the rotatorcup or rotary cup. The rotator cuff is made up ofthe supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Together they stabilize the shoulder, hold the head of the humerus into the glenoid cavity, and maintain the shoulder joint.

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