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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

3092 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  TangoRomeo
Anybody else have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
How does it affect your shooting?
How are you coping?

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· Premium Member
279 Posts
Allen, I had the carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand (Im left handed) back in March 2001. I had to resort to learning to shoot right handed as I couldnt grip the gun tight enough with my left before the surgery. My hand was like a useless claw. After the surgery, I still have to pick my spots to shoot left handed as the recoil pounds that surgically repaired area of my hand but it is light years better. I can also shoot a little better right handed too. larry

· Registered
4 Posts
I have given up shooting as long as I feel pain. However, using my PC makes it much worse than shooting a few boxes of ammo. I would avoid surgerey by all means. Here is some more info I collected:


if symptoms are relieved by heat and rubbing:
Magnesia phosphorica 6c
if tendons feel contracted, loss of grip and sensation: Causticum 6c

either to betaken three times a day for 2 weeks I had tendonitis last summer (which I was told is the first phase CTS),
spent tons of money on ibuprofen and two months on physical therapy ---
both with no success --- and then took a trip to the herb store. I read a
pamphlet on how to cure it and with this regimen, did not have to wear my
half-cast within a week:

* Bromelain and Papain, 400mg each, twice a day, for inflamation (be sure
to increase your protein/amino acid intake, since these enzymes gobble it
up as they digest the byproducts of inflamation)

* Glycine and Magnese to help the above

* C, B6, B12, and Zinc to help in healing

Try Sharon Butler's book "Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (and other RSIs)". I don't remember the cost (not much), but it's really good. Has lots of exercises
that are very easy to do.

The basic plan is to turn your palm face up, put your elbow just inside
your hip on your stomach lean against the wall with your face up palm,
hold on to your thumb from underneath your hand with your other hand
(this part is a little awkward the first few times.) and streach the
tendons in your arm for about 10 minutes a side. It is a continuous
streach so don't release unless it becomes to painful. It worked for me
in about two sessions of about 3 minutes in length (as my carpel tunnel
wasn't that advanced.)

. He says it could take up to 3 months
to work and suggests taking bromelain (from pineapple) and curcumin
(never heard of it)as an anti-inflammatory until it works. He says
they're available in Enzymatic Therapy's supplement called Curazyme. He
has other suggestions so I suggest you get hold of the book. I've seen
B6 recommended for this by others.

There are certain tests you can do to ensure that your condition is, in
carpel tunnel. Put your arms in front of you to "pray" so that the angle of
wrist is at a 90 degree angle with forearm & hand. Reverse your hands so
the palms are facing out & your hands are pointing down... does that make
sence???? In other words, you're putting your wrist into a 90 degree
If you have carpel tunnel which ever hand you have it in, should go numb
60 seconds.

You see, basically the same nerve feeds your whole arm & carpel tunnel is
talking about that nerve getting pinched at the wrist, sometimes the elbow,
believe. But it can get pinched off at the collar bone & this is not carpel
tunnel, however some people still have surgeries to relieve the nerve at the

I would suggest seeing an NMT (Neuromuscular Therapist). They can either
you if it's muscle entraping a nerve or they can refer you to a surgen if
need surgery. If your hand, etc. is drastically not being supplied by that
nerve, you can lose severe function of that hand & the muscles, etc. will
in which case surgery is nessasary. But there's a good chance that with the
help of a good NMT, they can greatly help you.......

Conservative Treatment:
Phase 1 -- Acute phase (first one to three weeks):
Rest the hands and wrist. Minimize or eliminate the activity that is causing
the problem.
Only if absolutely necessary, rest with cock-up splint worn all day and
night for up to three weeks.
Cryotherapy - Ice massage of the inflamed area.
Chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder, neck, forearm, wrist and hand for
Nutritional supplementation:
Start a good, natural multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement each day
and an additional B-complex supplement.
Wean patient from NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as
ibuprofen, etc.
Replace with natural anti-inflammatory herbs (I prefer a combination called
PSI from NF Formulas in Wilsonville, OR), natural proteolytic enzymes
(bromelain is the most common and is an ingredient contained in PSI), and
beneficial omega-3 oils (salmon and a borage/flax combination).
Have workstation evaluated for proper ergonomics and have corrections made.
If necessary, order protective devices.
Phase 2 - Post-acute phase (next two to four weeks):

Continued rest or modified work, as necessary, to prevent aggravation.
Chinese "spooning" as tolerated to improve blood flow and break superficial
adhesions of the skin and underlying fascia.
Pre-manipulative physiotherapy - ultrasound is most common.
As tolerated, extensive release of the deeper soft tissues - muscles,
tendons, and tendon sheaths - with massage, active muscle stripping, trigger
point therapy, transverse friction massage.
Continue chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder, neck, forearm, wrist and
hand for subluxations.
Complementary acupuncture treatment of the arm and supportive structures of
the neck and back.
Continue nutritional supplementation.
Add glucosamine hydrochloride or sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, which are
building blocks for healthy connective tissue. (GSCS NF Formulas is a good
choice, call 800/547-4891.)
At home, rub salve on the arms to promote circulation and reduce
inflammation. I use one specially made for treating this type of injury. It
is available from Kate Montgomery, LMT (www.sportstouch.com).
As adhesions and tenderness of the hands and wrists diminishes, start home
exercises specifically designed to strengthen the extensor muscles of the
forearm. This will counterbalance the excessive strengthening of the flexor
muscles that occurs with typing, hammering, etc. The best exercise aid I
have found is the Flextender Glove by Balance Systems
Phase 3 - Ongoing Preventative Treatment:

Self-massage and treatment of trigger points of the forearm and hand. Kate
Montgomery has a good 12-step program that I endorse (www.sportstouch.com).
Stretches and strengthening exercises while at work, much the same as
wearing a hard hat and safety glasses for prevention of injury. This keeps
the muscles in proper balance.
Continued nutritional support, including omega-3 oils and GSCS.
Continued monitoring of ergonomic conditions.
Regular massage and chiropractic care to prevent buildup of adhesions and

[This message has been edited by Cato (edited 10-13-2001).]

· Premium Member
762 Posts
be careful when using exercise to help with an overuse syndrome. To much can perpetuate the condition. I'm a licensed massage therapist and have seen massage combined with proper body mechanics completely eliminate CTS. good luck! GM45

· Registered
8 Posts
I'm having a repetitive type injury the doc says is caused by shooting. Apparently, I've irritated a nerve in my neck from bending it toward my shoulder to shoot my pistol.

Funny thing is I don't feel it in my neck, shoulder or arm. I only feel it in the meaty area between my spine and shoulder blade on the right side. I was feeling it halfway down my shoulder blade but that went away and now I feel it just below the bottom edge of shoulder blade. And it's not continuous either. Off and on and only lasting a few seconds usually. It's been going on for about 3 months now. Seems kinda strange a neck injury is affecting the areas I'm feeling it but that's what the doc thinks. Oh, and for the first month I had some tingling sometimes at the bottom of my shoulder blade.

· Registered
16 Posts
If a splint (around the clock) and ibuprofen 800mg three times per day (taken religiously) for 3 weeks fail to alleviate any of the symptoms OR the symptoms are long standing and you have weakness or loss of fine motor skill then you need surgery.

Waiting longer for herbs and massage to work UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES means the median nerve just spends more time being crushed in your tight carpal tunnel.

People who get a carpal tunnel release, especially the endoscopic release, wonder why they waited so long.

BTW, I have not established a doctor-patient relationship with you. This is just some friendly advice. See a hand surgeon before you make any decisions.

· Registered
3 Posts
I've had tendon problems in my arms and wrists for about fifteen years. I started shooting about three years ago, at the same time I quit working. Not working and not doing too many chores around the house has done me more good than anything else, and I highly recommend it! I've gotten much more strength in the last couple years, and rarely have any numbness or pain now. I need to wear a wrist wrap when I shoot, and my husband makes up soft loads for my .45. I could never wear a splint, or do exercises for my wrists or arms - I always ended up in much worse shape. I've had to rely on using heat and cold packs, and taking Advil. Probably most important, when I'm shooting I make sure and rest my arms as soon as I feel tired. I guess I should also say "hello." I lurk here a lot, and love the board. I'm a gal shooter in California, have a Kimber Custom Compact, and a new full sized .45 at the gunsmith getting tricked out.

· Registered
212 Posts
Rotney. I had the same problem with a nerve in my neck being pinched and causing pain and muscle contraction beside my shoulder blade. The orthopediac specialist told me to try either a chiropractor or a massuse before he put me on any more drugs(3 weeks of anti-inflammatory). After X-rays the chiropractor showed me the problem and moved the bone back in line. Pain and muscle knot left after about 5 seconds. Continued treatment(adjustments, ice, and strengthening exercises) for several months. No problems now and my last visit was 3 months ago.

· Registered
767 Posts
Hi Allen,

After developing a fairly severe case of "tennis elbow" I decided to start doing guite a bit of shooting with my weak hand. Every time I go to the range, I shoot a few magazines full with my left hand. Now, on days when my tennis elbow is really bothering me, I just shoot left handed. You might give it a try. I'll bet you pick it up quicker than you think.hth-TR
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