Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Today, I’m going to go over some data with you regarding chiropractic and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Important Definitions Regarding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
All right, first, let’s go over some definitions.
The first definition is carpal, which is Latin for “wrist.” The wrist is made up of eight bones, and that would be at the base of the back of your hand where it meets your forearm.
Then you have the tunnel, which is the passageway. The tunnel is made up of the bones of the wrist and the ligament. We have the ligament at the base of your palm and then the bones on the backside.
Through this carpal tunnel, you have nine tendons that go through it and what is called the median nerve. The median nerve is in the center of the tunnel and is surrounded by the ligaments that go to your fingers.
Now the third definition is syndrome, which is a group of symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Now, in carpal tunnel syndrome, you can have many symptoms, which include:
- Numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand
- You can have weakness or loss of grip strength where you can’t pick up things very well
- You can have burning sensations
- The hand can fall asleep, so you feel like you have to shake it to wake it up
- You can wake up at night with numbness and tingling and burning sensations,
- Decreased ability to feel sensations in your wrist and hand like cold and hot, and you just can’t feel things
- Swelling where the fingers will feel swollen
Those are the symptoms in the condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. This is not a complete list of all the symptoms, but these are the major ones that a person can get. Another thing also, I guess, is dropsies, where a person just drops things. They pick something up and they just drop it. That is a major symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are Some of the Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Now, let’s go over the next item, causes. The first cause can be repetitive use of the wrist and hand. The second cause could be falling on an outstretched hand. You fall down, and you fall on your wrist and hand, and you create a condition where you injure the wrist itself. Whiplash (injuries of the cervical spine or the neck) can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Injuries to the shoulder. Injuries to the elbow can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Bad ergonomics at your workstation, or bad ergonomics at your couch when you’re lying on your couch, in your car, et cetera. There could be very many things that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Let’s just go over a little bit on ergonomics. Ergo means “work,” and nomics is “the management of a household.” Ergonomics is the actual study of people’s efficiency as it relates to the environment that they’re interacting with. It’s basically how you work and interact with your environment. In this case, your workstation or your couch or your car, how you’re interacting with your computer, and so on and so forth.
One of the major underlying causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is basically a pinched nerve in your neck. There can also be pinching in your shoulder, like at the thoracic outlet (the space between your collarbone and first rib), elbow pinched nerves, and wrist pinched nerves. Basically, the big cause is a pinched nerve.
Standard Medical Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Now if you look at a diagram of the carpal tunnel put together, you have the tunnel in the center of the wrist, you have the ligament that comes across the heel of your palm, and you have the bones that are on the backside of your hand.
The major thing that is done by the medical community is to cut the ligament across the heel of your palm. Cutting this ligament theoretically opens up the tunnel through which the median nerve travels. The median nerve goes up through your wrist and hand.
If we track this back, we can take it (the median nerve) right through the wrist bones, into the muscles of the forearm, right into the elbow, up into the shoulder, and into the neck. There are many areas through which a person can get some carpal tunnel syndrome occurrences.
Chiropractic Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In chiropractic, what we’re going to do is evaluate the whole area, starting from the neck, the shoulder, the elbow, the muscles, and the wrist and hand, and actually treat those areas to resolve the problem that’s occurring in the wrist.
That’s kind of funny, I drew a diagram because when patients come into my office, they’ve got so much attention on the wrist and hand and it, to them, is the wrist area that’s the problem. The neck and shoulder are almost forgotten as a primary area of really where the problem is arising.
We’re going to look at the wrist and hand. We’re going to look at the muscles in the elbow and the shoulder and the neck. We’re going to treat that with pressure point therapy and chiropractic adjustments.
Mattingly Chiropractic Can Help Relieve Your Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Now, if you are having some of these problems, it’s time to get evaluated by a chiropractor before you actually do the surgery. Or maybe some of you have already had the surgery and still have carpal tunnel syndrome, or it actually came back once again and started giving you these symptoms. It’s time to come into the office and get an evaluation, and see if we can actually help you with chiropractic care and pressure point therapy.
Please give us a call at (314) 635-1008. We can help you feel better through natural ways with chiropractic adjustments and pressure point therapy and some good vitamins that help with this condition.