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July 1, 2010

Active Release
Technique
Athletic Injuries &
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By Dr. William Booker, D.C. and Dr. Ed Beck, DC

WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)?

The Mayo Clinic defines Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as “a vague aching in your
wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm. Other symptoms include: tingling
or numbness, pain radiating or extending up the arm from the wrist, or a sense of
weakness in your hands or fingers.

THE CAUSE OF CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)


Dr. William Booker D.C.
Most commonly, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been linked to pressure on the
Dr. William Booker D.C. holds a median nerve, a nerve that originates in the neck and passes down the arm, as it
Doctorate of Chiropractic from the passes into the wrist.
Cleveland College of Chiropractic,
Los Angeles. He completed his “Generally speaking, Carpal Tunnel has loosely been associated
undergraduate studies at the
with any pain, weakness or sensation involving the wrist and hands.”
University of Virginia, where he
graduated with a major in
psychology and a minor in Biology. WHY TRADITIONAL TREATMENTS HAVE NOT PRODUCED LONG
TERM BENEFITS IN MANY CARPAL TUNNEL PATIENTS?
After completing his internship in
Philadelphia, Dr. Booker relocated Traditional therapy for Carpal Tunnel has been broken into two categories:
to Arlington to open the first — Non-Surgical
Capitol Rehab inside of Gold’s — Surgical
Gym. Dr. Booker established
Capitol Rehab-Arlington as the
flagship for what would be the
Non-surgical methods typically include wrist splinting, anti-inflammatory
eventual opening of eight drugs, and corticosteroids.
additional Capitol Rehabs located
throughout Virginia, West Virginia Surgery usually involves cutting into the carpal ligament, and releasing any nerve
and Maryland. pressure in the wrist caused by the carpal ligament.

But according to most critical medical literature, surgery only produces


long-term benefits in only 50-60% of patients. So why have the traditional
methods of treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome achieved such mediocre results?

As mysterious as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may seem, there are two very basic
reasons for mediocre results achieved with medication and surgery.

Capitol Rehab of Arlington : 801 N. Quincy, Suite 130 : Arlington, VA 22203 : 703.527.5492 : @capitolrehab : drbooker@capitolrehab.com
Active Release
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a mechanical problem, not a chemical problem.
Athletic Injuries & Essentially, CTS is caused by a physical entrapment of the nerve, usually by a
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome tightened or restricted ligament or muscle. Drug therapy, and/or chemical
intervention rarely create any lasting changes in these tight or restricted muscles.

continued 2. Perhaps more important: Sensations in the hand, wrist or forearms can be
caused by several nerves, not just the median nerve, and the entrapment can
occur in several different places including the neck, shoulder, elbow and/or wrist.
To assume the only entrapment arises in the wrist ignores several other locations,
and numerous possibilities for the cause of the problem.

WHAT SHOULD MY DOCTOR LOOK FOR IF I THINK I HAVE CTS?

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome begins with a proper assessment of any


and all nerve entrapments of the arm and hand. Your doctor must be able to
assess entrapments of the following regions:

1. Radial Nerve
2. Ulnar Nerve
3. Median Nerve

Radial Nerve Entrapment


Usually produces sensations into the back of the hand along the thumb and the
Dr. Edward Beck, D.C. first two fingers. The radial nerve can become entrapped in up to 7 different
locations through the shoulder (axilla), elbow, forearm and hand.
Dr. Beck received his doctorate in
chiropractic from Palmer Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
Chiropractic College in Davenport, Usually involves the little finger, part of the 4th digit and along the inside of the
IA. He completed his Bachelors of forearm. Entrapments can occur in up to 6 different locations through the
Science degree from Concordia shoulder (axilla), elbow, forearm and hand.
University in Exercise Science
majoring in Adapted Physical Median Nerve Entrapment
Activity. While at Concordia he Usually involves the palm of the hand along the thumb and first 2-3 fingers.
volunteered with different Entrapments can occur in up to 5 different locations through the shoulder
organization from the YMHA to the
(axilla), elbow, forearm and hand.
Golden Age Association.

After completion of his doctorate Once a proper diagnosis of the nerves and affected regions has been determined,
degree he worked in Winamac, a non-invasive, soft tissue technique, like Active Release can effectively reduce
Indiana with a practice specializing the adhesions along the involved nerve.
in the Gonstead system of
chiropractic. Dr. Beck has WHAT IS ART OR ACTIVE RELEASE?
completed many hours of
certification from the Gonstead ART is a patented, state of the art approach developed by Dr. Michael Leahy for
seminar based in Chicago, IL.
treating soft tissues, in particular, repetitive stress and overuse injuries, like CTS.

WHY DOES ACTIVE RELEASE WORK?

When a person has a biomechanical flaw or an overuse syndrome involving the


wrist, hand and arm, a repetitive stress injury of the soft tissues can occur. The
end result is the production of a tough, thick scar tissue to the affected area. As
scar tissue develops, muscles become weaker, tendons become irritated and nerves

Capitol Rehab of Arlington : 801 N. Quincy, Suite 130 : Arlington, VA 22203 : 703.527.5492 : @capitolrehab : DrBooker@CapitolRehab.com
Active Release
can become entrapped. ART uses a movement based massage technique that:
Athletic Injuries &
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Breaks up the scar tissue
• Increases the functional range of motion
• Increases circulation of the damaged area
continued
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL
SYNDROME?

It is recommended that you identify a provider who is trained in Active Release


Technique, ideally one who incorporates a functional rehabilitation program. In
order to achieve long-term results, the patient must be instructed on home care
and self-care exercises that address how to strengthen weakened muscles as well
as how to release the overactive muscles as well.

If you continue to experience pain and discomfort, consider a second opinion


from an integrated practice that incorporates the best in physical therapy,
chiropractic and rehabilitation.

For more information feel free to visit us at our website,


www.CapitolRehabofArlington.com.

You may also call us directly at 703.527.5492 or send an email to


DrBooker@CapitolRehab.com.

Dr. Bill Booker is a chiropractor certified in Active Release Technique and is a member of
the International Society of Clinical Rehabilitation Specialists.
Dr. Edward Beck is a chiropractor certified in Active Release Technique.

Capitol Rehab of Arlington : 801 N. Quincy, Suite 130 : Arlington, VA 22203 : 703.527.5492 : @capitolrehab : DrBooker@CapitolRehab.com