Pain at the End of the Tunnel

In the Spanish Inquisition section of the Medieval Torture Museum in Amsterdam, among such pain tools as the Rack, the Pear of Anguish and assorted thumbscrews, there is this little doozy, used to crush wrists of heretics and others holding politically incorrect views.

Seeing how creative our ancestors have been when it came to inflicting pain on each other, one can’t help rejoicing that things have changed. In the last five centuries we learned to be tolerant and respect each other’s opinions, and various comments people leave on Facebook prove that.

This nifty wrist-crushing machine may be a thing of the past, but not the pain in the wrists. There are a number of natural causes for such pain, the most common being the Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

“Carpus” means wrist in Latin, and Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrists, formed by bones and ligaments. The tunnel is fairly narrow (see the drawing), too narrow to stick your index and middle finger through, and yet it has to accommodate tendons of muscles that flex your fingers, plus blood vessels plus the Median nerve.

It is no wonder that with all these structures passing through such narrow opening, and with repetitive stress we put on our wrists, the Median nerve is often squeezed. This results in a whole number of unpleasant symptoms, collectively called the Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

The symptoms include numbness and tingling in hands, especially in the thumb, index and middle finger, sharp pain, sometimes radiating all the way to the elbow, weakness and the sensation of swelling in the fingers, and eventually the muscle atrophy.

Like most other medical conditions, the Carpal Tunnel syndrome is easier to correct before it becomes chronic. The earlier, the better. Surgical procedures are available, but the non-invasive and effective long-term treatment for the Carpal Tunnel syndrome is massage.

If you feel any of the Carpal Tunnel symptoms, come to Breathe Spa, where we’ll test your wrists, and if necessary, mobilize the joints of your hand and stretch and soften your hand muscles and fascia.

Go online to or call us at 403-457-3060 and make an appointment.

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