Can Carpal Tunnel or Wrist Tendonitis aggravate arthritis?

by Sue
(Chicago, IL)

I am a 56 years old female who was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome about 6 years ago.

My job requires a lot of computer work. Since February I have been very active with home improvement projects which has required extensive use of my hands. The problem has gradually become worse and these past few months it has become a big concern.

I have osteoarthritis in my thumb and fingers along with a bone cyst in my thumb. I can't say that I have wrist pain. However, I have constant numbness, swelling, tightness, weakness and pain in all my fingers and thumb. The wrist splint for night worked for a short time, but no longer. This problem wakes me up all night long. Of course, the specialist wants to operate.

I have 3 questions:

1. Do I actually have carpal tunnel syndrome or is it wrist tendonitis?

2. Can the problem aggravate the arthritis?

3. Can this cause permanent nerve damage?

Thank you so much for your time!


Joshua Answers:

Hi Sue.

I'm going to jump right into answering your questions.

1. You may have some tendonitis damage. For sure you have a tendonitis dynamic, which is very close to the same thing as a Carpal Tunnel Dynamic.

Both consist of a Downward Spiral of increasing pain, problem, and tightness.

I recommend you start shifting your thinking towards that you are suffering from a -dynamic- in the hand and arm, as opposed to a specific kind of injury.

Your symptoms are too widespread to be looking at it as a specific problem. Or at least, the specific problem is that you have a dynamic in the entire arm that is causing you misery.

Said another way, even if you do have Tendonitis of the wrist, I don't think it's the primary issue you should focus on first. It's not the worst issue at the moment. All the constant tightness is the foremost issue.

2. A Carpal Tunnel Dynamic and/or a Wrist Tendonitis dynamic can absolutely aggravate arthritis, and could possibly be a partial or total cause of the problem.

When muscles get tight and stay tight, including the thumb muscles, the pull joints together, compressing the joints.

So now when you move your thumb and wrist joints, the bones are rather grinding on each other. This causes irritation and wear and tear damage, and that causes arthritis.

Here's more conversation on Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis.

3.Permanent nerve damage is an interesting concept.

Doctors consider it permanent like 'final' and 'no hope of ever returning to normal'.

But really it works like this: If you step on a water hose, flow of water slows or stops. Is it a permanent flow reduction? Only as long as your foot remains on the hose.

Same thing with nerve compression from tight muscles. They are constantly tight, so it feels like it might be permanent 'damage'.

But if you reverse the Tendonitis dynamic, (though for you maybe we should call it a Carpal Tunnel dynamic) nerve flow will return.

Those are the immediate answers to your questions.

So let's see, other thoughts....

A. I'm not surprised that the wrist splint didn't work. Really they are just a device that prolongs
your suffering.

B. I am 100% certain that a good portion of your hand issue is coming from up at the front of the shoulder and neck.

C. Of course the specialist wants to operate. That's what they are trained for, that's the best option in their world view, God bless 'em.

My training and world view consists of reversing the problem and helping the arm and hand get healthy again.

Carpal surgery at the wrist isn't going to heal the problem. Nor will it reverse the dynamic of the Downward Spiral.

It -probably- would temporarily help, as it would free up the pathway, kind of.

But the dynamic will still be in place and would eventually result in more pain and more problem. Plus you would have to heal from the trauma of surgery. And the body doesn't like trauma and will ultimately respond with more tightness (to protect you).

So what do you do to make it better?

My biggest suggestion is to get The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works DVD.

Granted, I'm biased because I created it and am selling it. And, if you do what it says to do, you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. And if you don't give up on it, you can possibly get pain free, minus the arthritis and bone cyst pain. But even that will be much, much reduced. (More on that later)

The DVD contains exactly and only what you need to understand the dynamic that is going on in your hand and arm, and what to do to about it to quickly reduce symptoms and turn the Downward Spiral into an Upward Spiral.

That's why I made it.

It doesn't address arthritis directly, but first things first. You have some layers to work through before you can get to the arthritis. First you need to get rid of the pain, numbness, and weakness. Those are creating an ecology that causes and maintains arthritis.

Also, read through this website. There is a lot of valuable information and an activity you can start doing today to make the hand start feeling better. Hint: Ice Dip

I'm always available to answer questions, and fine tune your activity and results from the DVD, and I'll be right there with you until you are out of pain, if you're willing to do the work.

Keep using the Comment function right here to ask questions and post updates, etc.

Whatever you do, let's get you started on a path to get your hand feeling at least 90% better.

It's totally doable. It will take some time and effort, but you'll be surprised at how little.

Talk to you very soon.

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

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Comments for Can Carpal Tunnel or Wrist Tendonitis aggravate arthritis?

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May 13, 2009
Two More Questions -- Can Carpal Tunnel or Wrist Tendonitis aggravate arthritis?
by: Anonymous


Thanks for your quick response! I am going to order your DVD, but have 2 more questions:

1. Would it be beneficial to see a physiatrist for testing to find out exactly where my problem is stemming from?

2. Won't the icing be painful with the arthritis?



Joshua Answers:

Hi Sue. You're welcome.

1. Making that appointment isn't a bad thing.

It may be helpful to first follow the recipe on the DVD consistently for a week.

This will lower and/or get rid of inflammation and the pain it causes. This will help a hands on professional find any actual damage, if there is any, and more easily find and identify any source of problem.

Inflammation dumps pain enhancing chemical, so you probably hurt all over the area if someone pokes around. Get the inflammation out, then moreso only actual problem areas will hurt when pressed on and such. Make sense?

2. Ice Dipping shouldn't be painful to arthritis. Dipping for 10 seconds as described -shouldn't- irritate it. And, you'll have to experiment. If it does, drop to 5 seconds.

The whole point of ice dipping is to repeatedly cause a particular kind of reaction in the area.

Every little bit of artery is surrounded by a little bit of muscle. When ice cold hits the area, all the muscle contracts. In essence, a dip into ice water causes the lower arm to squeeze itself, like a sponge squeezing itself.

This is good for the circulatory system to, effectively exercising the circulation system. This is ultimately good for arthritis.

One important thing you want to do if you have arthritis, is loosen all the muscles involved in the area. When they are tight, they are compressing the affected joint. This is bad, and may or may not be the cause of arthritis.

I certainly can't say from here, but it's -possible- that you don't have arthritis per se, but instead have an inflammed, unhappy joint that is constantly inflammed because tight muscles are constantly compressing the joint, and you keep moving that compressed joint.

The DVD content will help get muscles loosened and lengthened up too.

Keep me updated! Keep asking questions.


Jun 07, 2009
50% Improved after 7 days of The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works
by: Anonymous


I finished the 7 day plan as described on your DVD two days ago and must say I'm about 50% improved.

At least a lot of the swelling has gone down. I can actually touch my thumb and little finger together comfortably which I could not do before.

However, I still have problems with numbness and what feels like occasional spasms in my fingers.

I had to do some house repairs and use a screwdriver today and now my hand is stiffening up.

I have not seen the physiatrist yet, but suspect that should be my next step unless you recommend something else. I will await your response.

By the way, the ice dips did not affect my arthritis at all.



Joshua Answers:

Thanks for updating me Sue. Great.

I'm pleased that the Ice Dipping didn't bother the Arthritis. Good.

50% less pain in 7 days isn't what we were shooting for, but all in all, that's great.

People go for years on various therapies and don't get 50% better. So I'll take that as a win for the first 7 days. Good news/bad news, we're not done yet.

7 days and 50% better is a big clue. If you were 100% better, that would tell us something about what was going on. If your Carpal Tunnel symptoms were only 25% better, that would tell us something about what is going on.

But before I say what the clue means, I want to make sure I'm working with the correct data.

Please let me know how closely you followed the Healthy Wrist Protocol for that 7 days.

There is no right or wrong answer, I'm just looking for an accurate representation of how much activity resulted in this result. I want to take all assumption out of it so I can better advise you.

And then, of course, I'll have more to say :)


Jun 08, 2009
50% Improved responses
by: Anonymous

I believe I followed the 7 day protocol exactly as I understood it from your DVD.

Between the sequences, I worked on various tasks - sometimes on the computer, sometimes household work and sometimes just relaxing in front of the TV.



Joshua Answers:

Great job Sue!

Ok. Here's what I think. I think you have knocked down the Inflammation Process, but haven't yet overwhelmed it.

You have stalled the Downward Spiral, and your body is trying to get you back up into an Upward Spiral but losing.

I predict that if you do another 7 days of The Healthy Wrist Protocol you'll be at 80%-95%.

I predict that if you stop doing the activities, your pain and symptoms will return as they were before.

I don't think it's about injury. I think it's about a deeply entrenched Pain Causing Dynamic and resulting Process of Inflammation.

You've been in pain a good long while, it may take a couple weeks of diligent self-care to reverse the process and support your body and it's ability to keep you feeling good.


1. When doing activity #1, move your hands around and wiggle your fingers as you do it.

2. When doing activity #2, make sure your back is against a door frame or something so that A. You don't cheat and arch your back and B. push the rotation a little harder/farther.

3. While you do that, take your neck back and to the side such that the side front of the neck stretches, on each side. Play around with this to find the right angles.

To find the spot, rest your fingers on your collarbones, that's about the area you want to feel stretching.

#2 and #3 will help with the numbness.

4. I suspect that due to diet and because muscles have been too tight for too long, you could use some more Calcium and Magnesium.

If Cal/Mag is the cause, tightness and spasm vanish when taking a good supplement.

First we get the inflammation out. You're not quite there yet.

Then you help the body reform to a more relaxed ecology. As that happens, you can use your hands more and more without problem.

It's a matter of reversing the dynamic.

My prediction is that if you do another solid 7 days you will start noticing more and more benefit.

Then you should be able to start tapering off, just supporting your body and keeping any return of Pain Enhancing Chemical out and keeping new circulation happening.

Again, I don't think you're injured. I think you're too tight and full of the Inflammation Process.

You are just about at the point where the benefit curve will start to steepen.

And you can expect that over time, you'll have to do a little self care to nip this in the bud if it starts to creep back in.

I'm not saying to not go see the physiatrist. I think you'll find what s/he has to say interesting.

Regardless, you have nothing to lose but a little bit of effort. Do it for another 7 days?

Jun 19, 2009
Up to 60 or 70% Improvement
by: Anonymous


I did another 7 days of the protocol just the way you have explained it and have some additional improvement. It's a little difficult to judge, but my guess is that I am now at about 60 or 70%. I can eat a whole meal without putting my fork down after every 2 bites because of numbness. I might have to do that 4 or 5 times now throughout the meal which is a great improvement! Typing on a keyboard is a lot easier. I am also not waking up half as much at night as I was before starting your protocol due to pain or numbness. Thank you, Joshua!

I do take a Cal/Mag supplement twice a day that contains 500 mg Calcium and 250 mg Magnesium per serving. On occasion I forget to take the second serving.

I guess my next question would be where do I go from here? If I stop icing, will it get worse again? Can I expect more improvement or is this probably it for me? Believe me, I am really happy and thankful for the great improvements I have already had, but would like it just a little better if at all possible.

Thank you so very much!

Jul 13, 2009
Up to 80%
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

Since I did a second round of your 7 day protocol using your prescribed techniques, and some more time has lapsed since my last comments, my carpal tunnel has improved some more.

I believe I am now up to 80%.

I'm not sure what I can attribute this to.... perhaps a change in diet or normal healing time. In any event, I am thrilled how far I have come and all without useless surgery and huge medical bills!

Once again... THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!



Joshua Comments:

Sue, you are very very welcome!

So, 14 days of self care and you're 80% better. That's not bad.

Everybody is different, their specific variables of Carpal Tunnel pain and problem are different. Lots of factors.

Inside of that context, the Inflammation Process and the Pain Causing Dynamic are always there.

So it's just a matter of what works for you.

Your earlier question of 'where do I go from here' is a great question.

The 7 day protocol is beginning recipe. Now you know the basic tools.

Now it's time to start playing with the tools. More on that in a moment.

Some people are totally pain free after that 7 days. Many are not.

It depends on how bad, and how long.

There may be other factors at play as far as things getting better, and, 14 days of self care and 80% Carpal Tunnel relief is pretty compelling.

It would be great if there were a magic bullet or a 1 day fix. But there's not.

The DVD is designed for people to get out of pain. And for some people that will be a cure, others it won't be a cure, but the pain will be greatly reduced or gone.

And, it's takes some diligence.

I may be repeating myself from earlier with all this...

1. How's the arthritis these days?

2. Describe your symptoms as they are right now. Now that most of the pain is gone, let's start looking more to identify if you have more of a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or a Wrist Tendonitis dynamic.

This page tells the difference between the two: Wrist Tendonitis.

3. Start playing with the tools. Increase the frequency of the Ice Dipping A LOT for 1-2 days, and see what happens. Do Activity #3 A LOT for 1-2 days (different days the the Ice Dipping).

Play with the tools and see what happens. It's great to follow the recipe, and at a certain point one can stray from the recipe and start to fine tune your activities to the results you want.

4. I also bet that your neck muscles (scalenes) are super tight, and probably something at the front of the chest/shoulder is stepping on the hose of the nerve.

Stretch the front of the neck gently and frequently. If I could give you a hands on experience of that, that would be great, but tough to do that from here....

Play with it and see what there is to see.

Keep at it! Keep in contact, I'm here with you till the end.


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