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Thread: Anglers with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  1. #1
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Anchorage, AK

    Unhappy Anglers with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Fishing is my passion, but the hours of gripping and casting a rod causes a severe flare-up of carpal tunnel in my right arm that lasts all summer.

    Several years ago, I had a streamside conversation with a guy who suffers from the same condition. He explained that by using a different type of rod every few hours (fly vs. spinning), the change in grip lessens the recurring inflammation, pain and numbness that runs from his wrist to elbow.

    There must be plenty of other anglers with carpal tunnel and perhaps some these folks have devised other ways to minimize the effects from fishing.

  2. #2
    Member KevinsDriftboat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Palmer Alaska


    I have fished with folks with all sorts of challenges. I myself couldn't lift a rod or crank a reel for months. Yes, changups are good, so is adaptive equipment. My grandfather lost an arm, and it never slowed his fishing habit, just changed it. I have to use lighter spinners to keep myself fishing longer. I also use a longer rod for less shock and easier casting.

  3. #3
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Fort Wainwright


    My advice is the same I gave my dad; duct tape it to your arm. Make sure you shave the arm first though.

    Sapper 2-6

  4. #4
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Yellowknife, NWT


    One of these might help.
    It's almost like duct tape without the shaving.

  5. #5
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default ??

    How about casting with you right arm and then switching over to your left when you bring it in? Just a thought. I know when I go on ocean charters and have to control the pole with my left hand and reel with my right its like learning to fish all over again. But I can do it... Anyway just a suggestion.
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

  6. #6

    Default try hot water

    I suffer from the same thing. When it gets too bad, I get a small tub of hot water (as hot as you can stand) and soak my hand, from the elbow down. As it soaks, slowly open and close your hand. About 20 minutes of that and I'm good to go the next day.


  7. #7
    Member slimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    shoshone idaho


    Lots of B-6 & B-12......... Had a Doc tell me to try the B vitamins for 6 months if things didn't improve he would go ahead with surgery.. It worked just fine for me,, in fact after about a month i forgot i even had C.T...

  8. #8


    I was flipping through and found this old post. I had it really bad and got it cured by a massage therapist, but you have to find a good one. It will be extremely painful and take 3 to 6 visits. Not all massage therepists can successfully treat it so make sure to ask in advance if they can cure it before seeing them.

    A hint on whether the therapist is doing a good job is if he or she is stretching your wrist and forearm out. It'll take a minimum of 1/2 hour treatment on your arm and hand alone per treatment and 3/4 hour will get better results. It'll hurt like stink!!!

    You partner can help out too. Your pain will partially be caused from tight muscles all the way to your elbow. Dig into them slowly with your thumb, particularly grind the spot where your muscles attach on both ends. It'll hurt but it'll help.

    Heat you arm up before rubbing/massaging. Rub down the muscles in your hand in particular the muscles in your lower hand from your thumb to your pinky.

    And then stretch your forearm out lots, like 20 times per day. Extend your arm palm side down and grab your hand by putting your fingers over the back of your pain hand and thumb around other side below pinky. Keep arm extended and twist your hand so that you stretch the lowere forearm muscles. This is very relieving and is even better if your partner does this step for you.

    Do not get surgery for carpal tunnel. It simply treats your symptom, which is your tendon rubbing on your swollen cuz your muscles need ultra deep massage and stretching! Your muscles are swollen and swelling causes need to be alleviated before it can settle.

    6 trips to the massage therapist cured me and he noted that I had the worst case he ever treated.

  9. #9


    Start spey casting. Hardly any gripping of the rod at all. The cast doesn't require muscle at all either.

  10. #10
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Kodiak, Ak

    Default wrap to keep warm

    I've fought this for years as a comm fishing Longliner, baiting hooks and turning gear for 20+ hrs a day for years and watched many other comm fishermen have to quit or try the surgery.

    I have never had to stop working once, I found my main key to success is using ace bandages to wrap the wrist AT ALL TIMES. That means keeping the wrap on at night too. The idea is that keeping it warm increases circulation which promotes healing of muscle tension, swelling, etc. I really believe in this!! You'll be surprised how cool your wrist actually is in normal coastal weather, pulling the wrap off you'll want to put it right back on for the pain reduction and comfort. It'll FEEL like it's working. Bring the wrap up around the thumb to keep it up around the main tension area.
    As well as the B-6, and B-12 mentioned by Slimm. That is also a proven method in my opinion. Never had it prescribed but use them religiously and am pretty confident it works.

    But the wrapping it thing, stiffens up the wrist as well to reduce motion that aggravates. You can also shop around and find all kinds of designer wrist wraps. I've tried them all including ones with magnets in them (seems to work at extra expense) but the good old Ace Bandage, have a couple around so there is always one on. You should definitely try it, before the symptoms start, for the entire trip and Especially at night afterwards.

    Hope that helps
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  11. #11


    Get it fixed. I had both my wrists done last fall. I suffered with braces and tingling fingers for years. A couple hours of same day surgery and I was shooting a shotgun in 4 days. It takes a few months to regain the strength in your hand, but now it's great. I'm sorry I waited so long to get them fixed!


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