Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a combination of numbness, weakness, or tingling in the hand and wrist. It can be accompanied by weakness and stiffness of the hand in question. The muscles of the hand near the thumb may begin to waste away. Carpal tunnel often starts in the dominant hand but can progress into both hands.
Carpal tunnel symptoms are the result of compression of the median nerve at one point in the arm, at the wrist, or even from the neck where the nerve originates. Common conditions that occur before or alongside carpal tunnel are diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and physical trauma. Other physical conditions could place pressure on the median nerve and create carpal tunnel-like signs and symptoms. These would include inflammation, tumors, and irregular blood vessel formation.
"Carpal tunnel" actually refers to the anatomical location that the median nerve passes through the wrist to enter the hand. The tendons that control finger movements also pass through the tunnel. The tunnel itself is made up of the carpal bones of the wrist and a ligament called the flexor retinaculum. This is the structure that is surgically separated in a carpal tunnel surgery because there is no easy way to separate the carpal bones to create more room and less nerve pressure.
Other treatments for carpal tunnel besides for surgery are wrist splints, steroid injections, and physiotherapy. Medications, injections, and splints are of course temporary solutions that may or may not slow or reverse the progress of carpal tunnel symptoms and signs. Surgery is one of the most popular options; however, it is noteworthy that for 85% of patients who have carpal tunnel surgery the symptoms eventually return in time.
That is a simplistic explanation of carpal tunnel. Certainly if you are looking for detailed information there are better sources with more in-depth analysis of carpal tunnel. My purpose in this discussion is to relate carpal tunnel back to corrective chiropractic because many people with carpal tunnel experience relief from this unique form of spinal correction.
As mentioned earlier, the median nerve is being physically compressed and creating the symptoms of carpal tunnel. What differs from case to case is the specific location at which the median nerve is being compressed and the cause of the compression. Classically carpal tunnel is caused by median nerve compression at the wrist; however, the same symptoms could be caused by compression at the forearm or farther up at the elbow. Moreover, before the median nerve can pass through the elbow and wrist, it has to pass through the neck and shoulder. Since an upper-neck spinal injury is a fundamental cause of structural imbalance in the body, it could contribute to the compression of the median nerve at any one of these locations. Accordingly, the correction of upper-neck injury and misalignment can restore balance to the framework of the body and take abnormal tension off of the entire median nerve. What we see in many cases is that the upper-neck injury and resulting compensation of the entire skeletal structure represents the primary cause of a variety of secondary conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Other doctors like chiropractors, osteopaths, or medical professionals may attempt manipulations of the wrist or arm that produce no lasting results. This is due to the fact that many structural imbalances in the body can be traced back to the neck as the cause.
If you have tried the usual treatment and/or therapy for carpal tunnel or if you need a conservative option before resorting to surgery, corrective chiropractic care represents a sensible option. Besides for helping carpal tunnel, corrective spinal care allows the nervous system to control and heal the body better which could include better sleep, better mood, better immunity, and a solution for a variety of secondary conditions.
Spinal corrective care is a win-win opportunity.
We are taking the following precautionary measures in our office to ensure our office is an Oasis of Health:
We are open our normal business hours
No more Patient Clip Boards or Signing-In for the next few weeks to minimize cross-contamination (ie people touching less stuff in our office)
Chiropractic Tables Are Cleaned Between Each Patient
Children's toys have been removed from family room
Bathrooms are cleaned 2x/day
Surfaces in the office that are commonly touched areas are cleaned multiple times per hour (door handles, chairs, sink knobs, etc)
Patients that are sick are requested to stay home
Patients who are well are encouraged to make their appointments... chiropractic adjustments decrease stress on your body and increase immune system function
Staff that is Sick will not be allowed in the office