Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you understand the CAUSE of the pain and numbness of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,
it becomes quite a bit easier to resolve the condition. Chiropractic is about correcting
the joints to restore function of the nervous system. This is often the best solution.
So, what’s really going on?…
The carpal tunnel is a passage in the wrist for muscles tendons and the median nerve. The arch is formed by a row of bones. The passageway is bordered on the palm side by a ligament band.
The Spine, Shoulder, and Forearm
Long before the median nerve gets to the ‘carpal tunnel’, it must safely pass out of the spinal column at the neck, through the scalene muscles of the neck, through the complex network of muscles in the shoulder, under the pronator teres muscle of the front of the elbox/forearm, and THEN through the carpal tunnel.(http://www.bartleby.com/107/210.html)
Vertebral subluxations in the upper spine can compromise the origin of the nerve. Once the nerve leave your spinal column, it still is a great risk. Muscle tension or spasm can compress the nerve anywhere from your neck to the wrist. It is important to evaluate EACh of these areas to be certai that the specific location of compression is treated appropriately. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2365954/)
We have learned from new brain imaging, and research, and treatment of people with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Phantom Limb Pain and even stroke paralysis, that the brain changes to become more efficient at perceiving pain or even at maintaining weakness.
IMPORTANTLY, we also know that it can be reversed to reduce or sometimes to even eliminate the pain or weakness.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15326245)
There are VERY few doctors in the world who are aware of this research or have the
knowledge to do the treatment. 2 organizations that I am aware of have members who are aware of this treatment:
- Neuro Orthopedic Institute
- American Chiropractic Neurology Board
You can test yourself to see if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with these tests: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19633493)
Place the back’s of your hands firmly against one another, and hold this position for one minute. If within a minute, you experience numbness, tingling, pain or a combination, you likely have a compressed nerve.
Use your finger to repeatedly tap the center of your wrist crease, where the carpal tunnel and the median nerve are. If the tapping causes numbness, tingling or pain, then you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractic care may be a good solution for your problem.
Other Arm and Leg Parts
Other extremities, like shoulders, and ankles work in the same way that the wrist and hand do. They have nerves that come down from the spine to make them move and to feel pain or to dysfunction and feel numb. These nerves can be compressed by muscles or be disrupted by spinal joint dysfunction. Chiropractic adjustments, muscle therapy, and exercises can be a good option for these other body parts as well. It’s important to be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor familiar with the cause and treatments so you get the results you want.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Does Repetitive Motion cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Partly. The formula is: Repetitive Motion + Force + Awkward Posture(of the involved body part) = Repetitive Motion Injury.
So, if you use a jackhammer every day, that is MUCH Repetition + MUCH Force + some Awkward Posture. Those people are VERY likely to get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you hammer nails every day, that is some Repetition + moderate Force + ~good Posture. Those people may get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you type on a computer every day, that is MUCH Repetition + LOW Force + good Posture. Those people rarely get Carpal Tunnel mSyndrome. BUT, they do get similar symptoms. Often these people are dealing with what is called Trigger Point, a build up of toxicity in muscles. These trigger points refer pain or tingling that feels very much like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Appropriate chiropractic treatment with muscle work is very effective for this.
- Does cracking your knuckles cause damage?
Studies have actually been done on this. This habit does not seem to damage the joints(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21383216), BUT the fact that you FEEL the need to do it may suggests an underlying condition that needs to be treated. Once or twice per day as part of normal stretching is normal and OK, more than this is a sing that you need to address the underlying issue.
- Is a wrist brace good to wear?
Anything that relieves your symptoms without drugs, surgery, or harming your body is a good option. Use this as an opportunity to look for the CAUSE of your condition. Remember, it is usually NOT do to REPETITIVE motion (See the question about “Repetitive Motion”). Just like you can stop the water from exiting a hose by stepping on it ANYwhere along the hose, you can interfere with the nerve ANYwhere along the nerve. This causes symptoms at the end of the nerve (the wrist and hand). So, you need to find out where along its path it is being compressed.
- I was told I need surgery
That MAY be true. Before surgery, though, it is important to ask these questions:
Is there something I can do without drugs or surgery to improve or eliminate my symptoms?
Why do I have this problem in the first place? (And will this treatment help prevent it from recurring?)
Know your options and don’t do anything that cannot be reversed until you have tried more conservative options.
- Carpal Tunnel Success Story
This was the first time I had ever seen a chiropractor. But before coming to see Dr Hobbs, I saw an orthopedic surgeon. I figured that was the right person to see for that condition. He was the EXPERT.
How it started: I’m sure what caused it, but the numbness and pain came on fairly rapidly. I would wake with numbness in my hands and swollen. It was terrible. It started in the end of July, and I had surgery on my right hand in September. But the surgery (at least to me) was worse than the condition. My face perspired more since the surgery and my head/mind was
foggy. I was also fatigued and sick since the day after the surgery. — and that was about a month afterward! The doctor wanted to do surgery on my left hand also, because the nerve conduction tests showed that it had similar nerve damage to the right hand.
I really didn’t want another surgery, but I didn’t want the pain, numbness and waking at night either.
So, finally my brother-in-law, Mike, convinced me to see Dr Hobbs. I was feeling sick and depressed because on of the codeine I had to take for the pain. I was miserable. I would try anything.
I asked the orthopedic surgeon what he thought about my trying chiropractic. He said “Chiropractors need to do more research before they can treat people.” I decided to go anyway.
Dr Hobbs performed and very thorough exam. He found that my neck and shoulder we part of the problem. Now I understand why; the nerves to the hand come from the neck, go down through the shoulder and forearm to the hand. Dr Hobbs treated all of those and gave me specific home therapies to do.
I came for each scheduled visit and did my home therapy VERY well.
I am SOOOO much better! No more waking up at night. I even have more energy and my mind is clearer. I had bad insomnia before, but no I sleep like a baby. I am glad I listened to my brother-in-law, Mike. Now I tell people all about Dr Hobbs and my improvement.
J. Y. — Visalia