Pronator Teres Syndrome? Why does it feel like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to me?

So, some your fingers feel numb and tingle all over.  Sometimes, your hand feels weak and powerless.  Other times, your pain is aggravated by placing your arm in certain positions.  What gives?  Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?  Will it ever get better?  More importantly, will you need to have surgery?

These are questions one often asks when trying to figure out hand and wrist pain.  Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful disorder that can reduce the activities of daily life (ADL).  CTS is a compression of arteries,veins, ligaments, and tendons in the area of the wrist.  This carpal tunnel is where all of these necessary parts must pass, in order to use our hands.  When it comes to hand and wrist pain, the first thing that comes to mind is carpal tunnel syndrome.  But another lesser-known syndrome that should also come to mind is pronator teres syndrome.

Pronator teres syndrome has many of the same signs and symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome.  Both PTS and CTS compress and affect the median nerve.  This median nerve is responsible for innervating: forearm flexor group muscles, hand muscles of the thenar eminence and first/second lumbricals, skin of the palm and first three fingers.  The distinction between PTS and CTS is in the location of median nerve compression.  PTS is a compression at/near the elbow, while CTS is a compression at the wrist.  Since the location of squeezing usually affects body parts that are distal to the affected area, the symptomatology is slightly different.  This difference aids in the confirmation of diagnosis.

The pronator teres is a muscle that aids in pronation of the wrist.  Pronation would be the act of rotating your palms so that the thumbs are pointing towards the body midline, sometimes called “turning your palms down”.  PTS sufferers are usually those who perform repeated wrist pronations during their activities, whether it be in sports, hobbies, or work.

Signs and symptoms of pronator teres syndrome can overlap with those of carpal tunnel syndrome.  These include:  weakness in hand grip strength, numbness/tingling in hands/fingers, numbness/tingling in palmar surface of hand, difficulty pinching together index finger and thumb.

Signs and symptoms that are not usually shared between CTS and PTS, which are more indicative of pronator teres syndrome are:  weakness while flexing forearm muscles, fatigue from short-term use of forearm flexors,  pain exacerbation during elbow flexion, atrophy of forearm flexor group.

Considering that PTS affects more of the forearm in its presentation, it is a discerning factor in correct diagnosis.  Proper analysis of all the patient signs/symptoms by a trained professional is highly recommended.  Testing for PTS can be done through an orthopedic exam that includes:  Pronator Teres Test, Tinel’s sign, Phalen’s sign, Reverse Phalen’s sign.

Treatment for pronator teres syndrome should always include deep massage to release pronator teres muscle and other supporting muscles in area.  Massage to muscles that attach to elbow may also be beneficial.  Also, strengthening exercises for both forearm flexors and extensors should be performed regularly to balance opposing muscle groups.  Acupuncture is extremely valuable in treating this condition.  It can provide significant pain relief and accelerate the healing process, naturally.

Please note that many acupuncturists that focus on sports related injuries and treatments can also perform these orthopedic exams.  Talk to your acupuncturist for more information.

Infertility – Mariah Carey uses Acupuncture to Increase Chances of Pregnancy

If you’re looking for more evidence that acupuncture can promote a healthy environment for the body to conceive, take a look at this.

Of course, celebrities have access to the best healthcare not only in America, but in the entire world.  They are privy to the latest, cutting edge technology when it comes to medicine.

So, why would someone with the financial clout of Mariah Carey seek out an ancient medical practice to aid her in her quest to reproduce?  Simple.  Because it works.

Curious About Whether Your Insurance Covers Acupuncture Treatments?

Consumers are still learning about whether or not acupuncture is covered under their insurance plan.  Of course, the insurance coverage game is always changing, so please check with your insurance provider for the most up-to-date information.

Here’s a great webpage that answers some of the concerns of the average consumer that may be looking for their acupuncture visits to be covered through their insurance.

A Time to Eat

We Americans are a fast-paced culture.  We are usually doing something from the moment we wake up in the morning, to the time our heads hit the pillow in the evening.  We are busy with work, busy with families, busy with life and there’s always something to do or somewhere to go.  For all of the hectic parts of our schedule, there should be something in our daily lives that regulate us mentally, emotionally, hormonally, and metabolically.  It is one of the most important activities of life, eating.

Humans need food in order to survive.  We have to ingest enough food to create the energy for activities of daily living.  So, we must eat.  But, almost as important as eating, is the regularity of eating.

Eating on a schedule should be an everyday routine.  A regular eating agenda causes the body to expect meals at certain intervals during its waking hours.  This establishes a diurnal pattern that trains the body to prepare itself for food by shifting into a parasympathetic nervous response.  The parasympathetic nervous response takes the body into “rest and digest” mode, which slows the heart rate, encourages internal organ function, and benefits the digestive processes.

The key is to allow the body to stay in the parasympathetic mode for as long as possible.   This is the comfort zone and forms the groundwork from which to build upon.  That foundation is a solid platform for us to better respond to the changes and stresses that may come about.

Whether a meal plan consists of three meals, five meals, or two meals and two snacks per day, an eating schedule should be the base of everyone’s lifestyle, especially the busy ones.

US – Why L.Ac.’s Need to Support an Acupuncture Organization

Hear ye, all L.Ac.’s!  I’m calling out to each and every one of you!  I say, to acupuncture practitioners, teachers, students, researchers and anyone that cares about keeping acupuncture as a profession.  We need to push acupuncture forward to capture the eyes, ears, and minds of the medical industry.  We need to organize ourselves!

I know the demographic of people who usually enter acupuncture school, is one of strong desire to practice a more natural form of medicine.  It is a demographic that is bent on a strong sense of individualism.  You are the type of person that wants to run your own practice.  You want to do things your way.  You don’t want to have to cut through a lot of legal red tape and statutory demands that seem to bog down other medical professions.  You want to help heal people and that is your main focus.

I know who you are.  You are just like me.  We are one and the same, L.Ac., but we don’t act like it.  After school is over, and graduation is behind us, we scamper off, eager to build our own individual acupuncture operation.  We want to work at our passion in sharing everything about alternative medicine.  And, it is not until some law or regulation that binds our feet in practice, do we raise our hands in disbelief, and raise our voice in question.

The problem is that one voice may be loud enough to fall on a few ears, but that voice fades quickly.  One voice does not carry very far.  Two voices, though, can be heard more strongly, and three voices even more so.  With enough voices, we as a profession can be heard loud and clear all the way to the state Capitol building, and maybe even on to the Hill.

To be heard, we need to assemble ourselves and band together.  By uniting, we as a profession become a stronger voice, a stronger force.

At this point, there are many organizations that are trying to band licensed acupuncturists together.  They are trying to create a synergistic body, one that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.  They want our voices to be heard in the judicial halls of the city, state, and country, because that is where your acupuncture legislation is stamped for approval.

These organizations are pushing for your ideas, your laws, your future in the profession of acupuncture in the United States.  So, I ask you to support them in their effort.  Because their effort is what is creating your occupation.  Join something.  Join anything.  Support your acupuncture profession with your words, with your voice, with your heart, and if you can, support with your wallet.

Because without these acupuncture organizations, you don’t exist.

CA – Push For All Practicing Acupuncturists To Have Fingerprints on File Beginning in 2011

For those licenses expiring on or after January 1, 2011, the Acupuncture Board will require licensed acupuncturists that were licensed prior to January 1, 2001 or for whom a record of the submission of fingerprint no longer exists, to submit a complete set of fingerprints to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) as a condition of license renewal. See Title 16, California Code of Regulations, section 1399.419.2.

For all of the licensees that have already given fingerprints for California licensure, there is no need to do anything else.