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How Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happen?

The transverse carpal ligament spans across the carpal bones (eight wrist bones.) The carpal tunnel is the passageway for the median nerve and tendons to travel through the wrist. There are fascial layers in the hand and forearm that are vital to wrist mobility and function. These include the flexor retinaculum and the interosseous membrane of the forearm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the muscles and fascia of the hand, wrist and transverse carpal ligament shorten. If mobility of the hand and wrist are lost the median nerve and soft tissues structures within the carpal tunnel can become adherent and inflamed. The entrapped median nerve becomes the source of numbness, tingling, pain and muscle weakness.

Surgery treats this problem by cutting the transverse carpal ligament. While this procedure is often affective, CTS can recur because the underlying issues have not been addressed. Additionally, the scar tissue resulting from surgery can be problematic over the course of time.

Rolfing Can Prevent and Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The Rolfing Technique of Structural Integration is a therapeutic process during which the practitioner restores both the span and mobility of the structures of the forearm and hand. This is achieved with sustained manual pressure to release adherent tissue. As alignment and mobility are restored, biomechanics and mobility of the wrist improve. Many people experience positive results quickly, however long lasting results require a course of treatment.

Rolfing practitioners realign the structure in its entirety over the course of 10 sessions. It is not a symptom oriented approach, but rather a series of sessions designed to restore length and mobility to the whole body. By releasing chronic stress within the muscle and fascia many problems including the nerve compression of CTS can be healed.

Rolfing has shown itself to be an effective and gentle treatment for CTS. In future articles we will share self help techniques that include stretches and sitting posture to alleviate further episodes and prevent CTS.

The contents in this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often complex, and a physician should always be consulted before choosing a course of treatment. Rebekah Frome is an Advanced Certified Practitioner of Structural Integration, Massage Therapist and Physical Therapy Assistant. Over the past three decades, she has helped thousands of people recover from trauma and leave pain behind. She now practices in Montclair, Matawan and Asbury Park. For more information or to schedule and appointment call (973) 509 - 8464 or visit


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