Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems

by Joanne

Hi Joshua,

I wanted to know your opinion about my treatment and if I should be doing anything different. For the past few months I been experiencing pain in my entire right forearm but a little on the left arm too. I also experience pins and needles sensations on all my fingers and the back of my hand and sometimes on the bottom of my right wrist.

I found out that gluten intolerance was giving me tennis elbow on both my forearms and after avoiding it for weeks the tenderness is gone.

However I still get pins and needles sensations in both hands mostly the right. And after a few hours of using the mouse the top of my forearm hurts a lot. I take 400 mg of magnesium and 16,000 IU vitamin D a day.

My vitamin D level is now 70 from a low of 8 six months ago according to blood tests. Also, I almost have hypothyroidism. My TSH is 0.58 and I believe the cut off for hypothyroidism is 0.40.

I’ve just sent my doctor an e-mail about the connection between carpal tunnel and hypothyroidism though I know my doctor doesn’t like to prescribe hormones. I’m waiting to hear what he says.

My new physical therapist told me that I’m hypermobile and because of that I’m more prone to these types of injuries because my body makes my muscles tighter than most people just to keep my joints together.

To add to that I dislocated my shoulder (I felt it come out of the socket then I moved it back in) many times ten years ago. She said that my chest muscles that are near my armpits are too tight and are compressing the nerves leading to my arms causing my current symptoms. My right armpit is worse than my left and I wonder if it’s because of the shoulder dislocation in addition to being right handed.

Also my right hand gets colder than my left and the PT said that it’s because of the nerve compression.

So here’s my treatment that I just started: my PT is massaging those small chest muscles weekly which are tender to the touch. I do nerve glides; extend my arms to the sides and slowly wave my hands (I definitely feel the stretch).

Back exercises; squeezing my shoulder blades together while using elastic bands on my hands for resistance. She said it’s to open up my chest. I stand up at least every 30 minutes at work to avoid staying hunched over for long periods of time and to stretch my upper body muscles in the opposite direction of what I’m used to doing.

Walk for ten minutes during my lunch hour to get my blood circulating. She also suggested yoga which I would like to try but because of my wrists I can’t do a downward dog or cat’s pose.

I’ve also heard that hypermobility makes it easier to get injuries from yoga. My biggest concern is that despite these efforts my job which involves a lot of computer use will make it almost impossible to heal because my body is too far gone down the pain spiral. What do you think of all this?



Joshua Answers:

Hi Joanne.

A. Yes, hypermobile people can hurt themselves with yoga if they don't pay enough attention and if they stretch TOO far.

B. Up every 30 minutes at work = GREAT

C. Walks for circulation etc. = GREAT

D. Pull shoulder blades back = GREAT Also, with arms out paralel to the ground 'flap' them back to get that stretch. And pull back the shoulder blades then take the arms back, and/or do them at the same time.

E. Chest muscle massage = GREAT

F. Nerve Gliding = GREAT if it feels like it's doing something beneficial.

G. 8 --> 70 on your Vitamin D level. AWESOME! I assume you're taking Vitamin D3. Really that's awesome. Don't know what your plan is, but pretty soon you should probably drop down to 10k i.u.'s/day as that should level you out between 70-80 which is where you want to be.

Now, some questions to determine if you have Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or a combination.

Also, as you said with the gluten intolerance etc, there is likely some nutritional aspects at play.

Vitamin B6 and B12, for instance, play a huge role in pain and nerve symptoms/issues.


1. How did you dislocate your shoulder? Did it just fall out, or was there impact, or?

2. Why exactly does your PT think that you are hypermobile?

3. How 'cold' do your hands get? A little? A lot?

4. What are you eating now that you're off gluten (You REALLY should stay off gluten.) Overall picture.

5. Why are you taking 400mg of magnesium, as opposed to any other amount? Might want to find your tolerance level, as described on Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page.

I'm sure I'll come up with other questions as we go along.

I don't know anything about the thyroid thing. Perhaps Kerri will comment.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.
And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Nov 19, 2010
Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems
by: Joanne

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for the reply. Here are my answers:

1. I dislocated my shoulder playing volleyball, badminton, and swimming within one or two years, ten years ago. I just moved my arm quickly over my head the wrong way and I felt it come out of the socket. I moved it back the other way and experienced tremendous pain. Ever since then my right shoulder doesn?t feel like it?s fully secure in its socket but it hasn?t dislocated since.

2. My PT says I?m hypermobile because she took measurements and says that my wrists, elbows, and left shoulder have a higher range of motion than they should.

3. My hands aren?t cold all the time but my tolerance for cold isn?t what it used to be ever since I lost weight a year ago. My right hand will sometimes be colder than my left especially if I?m using the computer. When they get very cold I sit on my hands (I know it sounds funny) or press them to my stomach which is usually very warm compared to my hands. I usually have to do that a few times because they don?t stay warm. I also been getting pins and needles sensations in my left leg more frequently from just sitting down. So far other than that it doesn?t give me the same problems as my arms (Sorry, that?s off topic).

4. Now that I?m off gluten I eat a lot more rice and fruit. I?m trying to stay away from dairy, sugar, soy and corn because I?m worried they might give me problems even if it?s not obvious. The gluten-tennis elbow connection took a few weeks to figure out. I eat a lot of fruit, chicken, beef, eggs, turkey, salad, plantains, various vegetables, potato chips (I know they?re junk food but they taste so good) and various nuts. I?m wondering if I should go on another elimination diet to see if there are any other foods that might be contributing to this. But I?m already stressed and I feel that that might make matters worse.

On that note I believe that there is a large emotional component to this problem. It almost felt like it came out of the blue during a very stressful time that continues to this day. And to that effect, other than avoiding gluten, nothing has seemed to help much. I did the ice dipping and ice massage for a few weeks. After doing the nerve glides for a few weeks I can move my arms back more before I feel the stretch but my right elbow has started to bother me. The chest muscle massage didn?t produce the same kind of tingling as it did the first time and yet after I?ve done all this I don?t feel a big difference. My PT also said that my forearm muscles aren?t tight enough to explain my symptoms. And another mystery is why does my left arm hurt as well? The pain in it almost disappeared after being off of work for one week and has returned even though I don?t use it that much at work...


Nov 19, 2010
Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems
by: Joanne


I read Dr. Sarno?s book about the body mind connection and it only made me more nervous because he insists that treatment for the non-existent physical cause of pain would prevent recovery. So I?ve decided to go the EFT route and as you suggested to someone with TMJ, today I saw an EFT practitioner.

I?ve yet to notice a difference and I?m worried I just wasted a lot of money but I still plan to ?tap? on my own and see what happens.

5. I?ll increase my dose of magnesium. I?ve been having stomach problems lately and I was worried that increasing the dose might make things worse. I do supplement with B12 (the kind you suggest) and a few months ago my B6 was too high. I don?t know what it is now. I also increased my multi-vitamin intake because my selenium was on the low side and dropped from three months ago.


Dec 01, 2010
Joshua Responds - Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hi Joanne.

1. Quite possibly, you stretched the ligaments when you dislocated your shoulder, so not it literally isn't secure in it's socket.

Your job there is to keep the muscles strong so they can provide support, and help limit any inflammation and irritation dynamic the 'looseness' can cause.

2. Hypermobile. Yup. See #1.

3. Potentially your sciatic is getting pinched some when you sit down, due to tight muscles (possibly due to the John Sarno topic of Tension Myositis Syndrome, which is what was going on in my glutes and causing most of my pain and numbness, once upon a time).

Possibly, it's a Vitamin B6 and B12 shortage. B12 especially is a player in nerve function, and your symptoms as you describe them fall under common symptoms of B12 insufficiency/deficiency.

4. If you're off gluten, corn, soy, and store bought milk/dairy, that's probably plenty good as far as eliminating inflammatory agents. Now you should get extra nutrition in you. A GOOD multivitamin, and specific supplements (Vitamin D3, Magnesium, B6, B12, and Omega 3 fats).

5. Don't discount the emotional component. People have, and I have, experienced great reductions in pain and symptoms just by a change in mind.

This doesn't mean it's all in your head. The mind causes physical changes in the body. For instance, when I worry about money, my right glutes tighten up. If I don't pay attention to this, or don't notice I'm worrying about money, it get pain and numbness symptoms down my leg.

EFT is great, in my experience. Having said that, the practitioner makes a difference. If you don't notice results in 1-3 sessions, find another practitioner. EFT is/should be FAST. If it's not, it's ok to blame the practitioner (not that they're necessarily bad at it, but they have to be able to have a certain connection to you to get into what's going on with your). And do it yourself too.

So. Nutrition is a big key. Long term chronic inflammation and it's side effects is another.
Healing from long term effects of Gluten Intolerance and the inflammation and nutritional deficiencies it causes is another.

Possibly another aspect is, at some point there was a big stress in your life, and your mind kicked in a defensive response that equals, bless it's heart, physical pain.

Feb 08, 2011
Progress at Last!
by: Joanne


I wanted to update you on my symptoms. I had a few sessions with an EFT practitioner and while the sessions didn?t affect my arms they brought other unintentional benefits that I?m grateful for. The physical therapy didn?t seem to do much either.

Thankfully I found out about Hanna Somatics and had an appointment with a practitioner two weeks ago. She showed me some exercises that actually involve tightening the chest muscles that are already compressing the nerve thereby actually causing the muscle to relax more. After doing that for almost two weeks my pectoral (I think that?s the name) muscle on my right side is no longer tight. I?m almost back to normal though it appears that tight neck muscles are also playing a role. I?m seeing the practitioner again today to get some new neck exercises. I can?t wait! I only saw her once and I?m seeing the benefits already. I can?t believe insurance doesn?t pay for that and I?ve wasted so much money on physical therapy that they did pay for.

I just got a bill from the first physical therapist that I saw for this condition. It?s frustrating that I have to pay so much money for treatment that didn?t work for a wrong diagnosis. When I asked the therapist, as you explain on your website, whether the nerve could be compressed by a muscle, she said, ?no, it could only be compressed at the neck by a disc or at the elbow by the joint.? I guess I should be thankful I didn?t ?have to? have surgery.

Are you familiar with Hanna Somatics? I?m still supplementing with magnesium to be on the safe side. Thanks for all your help!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joanne.


Ahhh, EFT. Good stuff that way.

Yes, familiar with Hanna Somatics. Smart smart!

Yes, contracting a muscle can help it relax. There's various ways to go about that. No surprise that you got quick results.

Don't even get me started on insurance....

Keep at it. You're moving in the right directions and finding the right things. Rock on!

Feb 17, 2011
I thought you'd find this interesting
by: Joanne

So now my symptoms have started coming back and I suspect that it?s because I started eating gluten again a month ago. After months of gluten, sugar, and dairy deprivation and the improvement in my stomach (thanks to EFT) I?ve had a food free-for-all that has been challenging my stomach.

I?ve also gotten back blood tests from the time when I started eating gluten, sugar, and store bought dairy products. My doctor said that surprisingly I have excellent and terrible numbers on the same lab report. My vitamin D dropped from 70 to 46. Prior to the level 70 testing I ingested a bottle of vitamin D and was practically gluten free. I was surprised to learn that my level dropped that low yet my vitamin A continued to rise from 43 to 59. My doctor however said that vitamin A tests aren?t that reliable. For the first time ever I?ve tested iron deficient and my calcium level is too high. That?s so odd, I ingest a lot less dairy compared to the average American and I?ve started eating a lot more meat since I?ve stopped trying to be vegetarian. I was never fully vegetarian though. I don?t know where this calcium is coming from since I don?t supplement with it and even when I ate gluten I wasn?t iron deficient.

While my cholesterol level has gone up it?s still in a good range, my LDL is pretty low and my HDL is 95. I?ve never had HDL so high. My selenium also went up and my B12 level is too high but my doctor said that?s not a bad thing. Three of my liver levels are too high though not crazy high enough to require treatment but it?s still not a good sign.

I?m trying to minimize stress in my life and while I realize I need to go on a gluten free diet again that alone is stressful. I guess I should use EFT for that stress :).

I definitely need to deal with my adrenal fatigue. The blood tests came back negative for it but my doctor says I have all the symptoms. Hopefully that?s the last piece of the puzzle.


Joshua Comments:

Vitamin D levels drop unless you continue to add Vitamin D in. No mystery there.

You are clearly gluten intolerant. Stopping gluten my occur as a stress, but other than some change in food habits, you're going to feel a lot better and your body is going to work a lot better.

Doctors' adrenal fatigue tests only test for ON or OFF. Not a worthwhile test/indicator.

If you have high calcium you have hyperparathyroidism, until proven otherwise by a parathyroid specialist (specialist in parathyroid disease ONLY).

Kerri says about this post "The thing she's missing is that Calcium levels have zero to do with dietary intake of calcium. Altered Calcium levels are a metabolic problem, not a dietary problem."

Your doctor's missing that too.

You MUST go read

READ through that site. The whole thing so you'll get concept/context.

I should ask. When you say 'high calcium level', what does that mean, exactly?

Feb 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

I've ordered Kerri's adrenal fatigue saliva test and I checked out the website you've mentioned and Kerri's website.

My calcium level is 10.7 mg/dL and the lab said it should be no higher than 10.2. Three years ago it was 9.2. It was measured because I was experiencing extreme exhaustion at the time that I have since attributed to gluten withdrawal.

The drop in my vitamin D now concerns me more because I've been taking 16,000 IU of it daily for almost a year (and a one time megadose of 250,000 IU) and I worry that the level will continue to drop to the original level of 8 at this rate.

However according to Kerri's website I shouldn't be taking vitamin D until I confirm that I don't have hyperparathyroidism. I'm reluctant to do that because of the pain in my forearms.

In addition, and I'm embarrassed to admit, I had been accidently taking more vitamin A than my doctor recommended, about 12,000 IU daily. I read that vitamin A toxicity can cause high calcium levels.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joanne.

You'll talk with Kerri when you get your Adrenal Fatigue test results.

She suggests that you do stop taking the Vitamin D until you see a parathyroid specialist and they confirm yes/no on parathyroid disease.

Vitamin D pushes Calicum into your bones and tissue. If you have high levels of Calcium then Vit D is contraindicated as too much Calcium get get into your cells/tissue/organs.

See: Vitamin D Contraindication

If you've been taking 16k i.u.'s/day, and your levels are going down (you're right, they shouldn't at that intake amount), and -if- parathyroid disease is a factor, it's possible that your body is actively trying to keep your Vit D levels down to avoid problems.

It's common for people to have high calcium levels and feel like crap for -years-, with undiagnosed parathyroid disease, and regular doctors don't have the training to catch it.

Parathyroid specialist.

FYI, that's the extent of my knowledge re: this. Kerri's the gal to talk to, and in cases of high calcium, she'll tell you to see a parathyroid specialist to rule out or confirm parathyroid disease.

With Tendonitis there's lots of room for trial and error. With hyperparathyroid issues, not so much. Treatment really is determined by getting the problem identified or ruled out.

Questions for me.
Have you been supplementing with Magnesium?
How much good fat does your diet contain?

Feb 23, 2011
Questions about elbow and neck pain and parathyroidism
by: Anonymous

I probably won't be able to see a specialist for three months because of appointment availabilities. Will discontinuing the vitamin D make my pain issues worse?

I'm taking 800mg Magnesium daily.

As far as good fats go I try not to eat raw dairy products because they are expensive and so I try not to eat dairy products at all. I eat about a cup of walnuts, cashews, and/or pecans a day. Some of my foods are cooked in grapeseed oil. On weekends I eat eggs fried in coconut oil for breakfast.

I eat mostly vegetarian because my mother-in-law, who's a practicing Hindu, cooks for me and my husband. I don't cook because of the pain issues. I usually only eat meat when I eat out which isn't organic. I know I should be drinking bone broth and I will start.

I've recently learned about trigger points and started generally massaging my neck to find that it's sore and that if I press certain areas I get sharp pains near my shoulder blade, or pain at the top of my head. Is it worth it to look into trigger points?

I've read that trigger points shouldn't have ice applied to them. When I used to ice dip I got no pain relief, even when alternating between hot and cold. The area of my tricep near my elbow is tender to massage and I wonder if I should ice it or not even though in general it doesn't hurt.

I've also heard that it might help to sleep without a pillow. Is that worth trying?

I hope this gives you a better idea of what's going on: at night sometimes I wake up because my pinky finger, and part of my ring finger have gone tingly along with that side of my hand but it doesn't hurt. This happens almost every night.

My physical therapist had mentioned a few times that the muscles of my forearm aren't that tight compared to someone who has tennis elbow. I assume that means that most of my symptoms are coming from my neck.

Sorry I feel like I've been rambling. I hope I make sense.


Joshua Comments:

Not rambling at all Joanne, no worries.

I don't know if stopping/lowering the Vitamin D will increase/decrease your pain. Only one way to find out. Experiment.

Clue: People with parathyroid issues (generally) feel like crap, like you do.

Clue: Icing doesn't help at all.

Fact: Tendonitis type pain can come from a variety of issues. Repetitive strain, thyroid, nutritional deficiencies, stress, calcification, etc.

The problem is, other than repetitive movement issues, the rest won't really be helped by my methods until the underlying CAUSE is addressed.

Personally, I would:
1. Get an appointment as soon as possible.
2. Drop the Vit D for X amount of time and see what happens.
3. Get some good Omega 3 fat supplements, 3ish grams per day.
4. Bone Broth
5. Self massage A LOT, throughout the day for a full 7 days and see what happens.

Keep me updated, ask questions.

Mar 10, 2011
Update from Joanne - Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems and Parathyroidism
by: Joanne

Hi Joshua,

1. I had my holistic doctor order the blood work needed for a diagnosis of parathyroidism. I know he?s not a specialist but I?m currently getting a recommendation for a parathyroid specialist from a local parathyroid surgeon who completely agrees with the information from the website Kerri mentioned.
1a. I?m also getting blood work done on my own to see if I have hypothyroidism. My doctor didn?t seem to want to write a script for it.
1b. I?m currently working on the adrenal fatigue test and will talk with Kerri when I get the results and formulate a plan.
2. I must admit I?ve yet to drop the vitamin D because I think my chances of having parathyroidism are low. I know it doesn?t make sense but now that I?m thinking about it I will drop it.
3. I?ve actually been taking Omega 3 fat supplements for a year and a recent blood test showed that one of my Omega 6 levels was too low. I was told that that particular Omega 6 is anti-inflammatory My Omega 3 levels rose to normal.
4. I tried making the bone broth and I botched it and it became a gel. I?ll have to try a again when I?m less hurried.
5. When you say self massage do you just mean my forearms? I haven?t been self massaging much. I recently went to a massage therapist who said that I have inflammation in my brachial plexius and he suggested that I ice the area. I figure it?s worth a try using your methods. Is it odd for that area to be inflamed? You don?t really mention inflammation in that area on your website.

Other things I?m doing:

1. I?m still doing the somatic exercises since they are definitely loosening tight muscles.
2. I started to walk or do aerobic exercises for 30 min. daily. My sister said that her arm pain improved after she took up kick boxing and got worse when she stopped.
3. After reading ?Spontaneous Healing? I was inspired to start meditating daily again and just started doing breathing exercises to deal with stress. Though I?m still going to stay away from eating a lot of soy.
4. I?m still avoiding gluten, dairy, and sugar. My stomach and throat feel better as a result.

Now I feel like I?m just waiting to see what the test results say. I really hope they explain why my previous efforts haven?t yielded much. It?s very frustrating not being able to just go to the doctor and have him layout a plan for you. Having to get tests done on my own or insisting to get them done makes me feel like a hypochondriac. When I told my husband that I needed to make an appointment with an endocrinologist who agrees with he said, ?you?re really worrying yourself too much. You sound like you want to find a doctor that tells you have hyperparathyroidism even though most will tell you you don?t.?

Thanks again for your help!

Mar 10, 2011
Joshua Responds to Joanne - Carpal Tunnel and Hypermobility Problems and Parathyroidism
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

In no particular order:

1. If you don't feel healthy/strong, it's up to you to search for answers until you find them, no matter what anyone else says. You know when your body is right, and when it's not.

2. Testing, ok good.

3. Do you mean that you made bone broth, put it in the fridge, and it gelled? Great! It's supposed to do that!

Or you simmered it down a lot and it thickened, that's great too! Nutrient dense.

4. Walking, or any movement, is GOOD! The body loves movement. Movement is life.

5. No gluten etc, GREAT!

6. Self Massage, anywhere that's tight/painful. Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. Make the dry crunchy sponge a soft squishy sponge.

7. Let me know when you get results back.

Apr 22, 2011
Update from Joanne
by: Joanne

Hi Joshua,

Here?s an update:

In reference to the hyperparathyroidism the tests came back negative. Kerri told me that I should still have tests done again in the near future to confirm that I don?t have it since there is still a chance.

In the mean time the saliva test showed no adrenal fatigue but my adrenals still need a little help so Kerri recommended some supplements that I am taking.

I also had a stool test done that showed that I have parasites. I am going to be undergoing treatment for that as well. In fact ever since I got back from vacation two weeks ago my stomach issues have been awful. Could it be that despite taking all these supplements that I?m only absorbing a very small percentage due to the parasites? I?ve had digestive issues for two years now.

During vacation the pain in my forearms was the same as before I left however on the third to last day I started to experience pain in my right carpal tunnel randomly. My diet wasn?t the best when I was on vacation. By the second night I caved in and had a little sugar and gluten. I couldn?t sleep that night. I then continued to eat gluten towards the middle of vacation and my stomach started to bother me though I slept fine. I?ve stopped eating gluten and dairy since I came back but the stomach issues still persist, in fact they?re worse.

I hope that if I take care of the adrenals and parasites my forearm pain will be much improved. In the mean time I?m still doing the Hanna Somatic exercises and massage.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joanne.

Great news on the test results (and yes, in the context of 'accuracy', it's worth it to get another one in the relatively near future.

Is it possible that parasites etc are keeping you from getting the nutrition you need?

Basically, yes. Between the gluten intolerance and the parasites, the ecology of your gut is far from optimal.

To the extent that you have leaky gut, that makes it even less optimal.

Between any nutrient loss, inability of your body to do anything positive with said nutrition (including digesting it), and inflammation/irritation in the gut, it's no surprise that you have your symptoms and even arm pain.

It's great news for your forearms that you eat gluten and the pain increases, because most of the 'cure' is to stay off of gluten, thus reducing the inflammatory effect on the body that is at least partly to blame for the pain in your arm.

Plus, if your adrenals aren't working properly, then you have reduced ability to heal, literally.

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