The Carpal Tunnel HelpBook by Dr. Scott M. Fried is subtitled “Self-healing Alternatives for Carpal Tunnel and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries.” It’s a fairly short paperback, just over 100 pages, but provides a good introduction to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (hence the title), and I would recommend it for those who are new such things. If you are already fairly familiar with the topic, you might not find anything groundbreaking here. While the book provides a good overview on nerves, causes of nerve damage, and preventative measures, it does not go deep into specifics in many areas.
Most of the information you can find on the web somewhere for free, but if you’re reading this review, chances are it’s because you’re already experiencing a twinge here and there; it might be better to forgo an exhaustive click-click-ow search and just buy the book. Or borrow it. My local library had a copy (but I guess I just let out a little secret there… Sorry Dr. Fried, I’m paying for tuition right now).
The Carpal Tunnel Helpbook is divided into the following sections:
Nerve Problems in the Neck, Shoulders, Arms, and Hands
The Anatomy of Nerve Injury
Treatment Modalities and How to Use Them
A Nerve Sliding Program
Soft Tissue Stretching
Posture Do’s and Don’ts
Creating a Comfortable Workplace
Effective Splints and How to Use Them
Meditation, Biofeedback, Yoga, and Tai Chi
A Home-based Exercise and Healing Program
How to Set up Your Own Home Therapy Center
A Final Thought
Most of the chapters are about 6-8 pages and fairly self-explanatory. (“Modalities” is doctor code for therapies like massage). The “Final Thought” is just a bit of a recap that also discusses methods for reducing stress and tension (apparently, these are bad things) which can be contributors to RSI.
Overall, I would recommend this book, not as a replacement for visiting your doctor, but in addition to it. The only down side is that the pictures are all black-and-white, but the book is put out by a small press, so that’s understandable. I think it’s a worthwhile trade-off since it’s written by someone who is actually an “upper-extremity nerve specialist and a surgeon” and has a lot of experience with Carpal Tunnel and repetitive strain injuries.
Dr. Fried has also written a book called Light at the End of the Carpal Tunnel that I hope to check out soon.