Increase in CTS cases & the need for non-surgical intervention
Caryl A. Washburn Thompson, MA, OTR, began to see a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. She saw many cases that were post carpal tunnel syndrome release surgery and CTS had returned. She was hearing from more and more employers about the problem, risk managers, and the patients themselves were seeking therapy before surgery. It was Caryl’s desire to develop a program that would meet the needs of both types of patients, those wishing to avoid surgery and those who have already had it.
It was apparent that traditional modalities were not making a significant difference in the resolution of carpal tunnel syndrome. This led Caryl to develop a protocol for non-surgical intervention of carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients experienced success with this approach.
About: The Birth of the CTExerciser
The Flight Attendant & the need for an exercise tool
One of Caryl’s first patients was a senior flight attendant. She was scheduled for four surgeries, carpal tunnel release on each hand, ulnar nerve transposition on the right elbow and a deQuervain’s surgery on the left hand. She was concerned about this plan and was seeking other options. After seeing Caryl, she decided to proceed with the conservative therapy before surgery. She had one therapy session, then went on an international flight, doing her exercises on breaks as able, per Caryl’s instructions. She told Caryl, if she had a tool to exercise with it would be so much better. It was then that Caryl tried to locate such a tool.
The tools (hand exercisers) she found, had major flaws. She wanted a hand-held tool that she could provide to her patients to use as part of an exercise routine to prevent and rehabilitate carpal tunnel syndrome. This meant finding a tool that would promote all movements of the wrist and forearm in a smooth motion, while at the same time carrying the motion in one fluid movement up and through the shoulders into the cervical girdle. None were to be found.
Solution: The tool, the CTExerciser
The CTExerciser was formulated, designed and a prototype was constructed. The first unit was so successful that more units were constructed. Caryl decided to have her friends at ACS Services, Inc. begin manufacturing the CTExerciser. It has undergone radical changes in design and materials since the original prototype, to meet Caryl’s specifications. The CTExerciser is used by therapists and patients all over. Every person, home, and office should have this tool, whether it is used for rehabilitation, intervention, or prevention.