Composed of the carpal bones, the wrist form a tunnel-like structure-the carpal tunnel through which nine tendons and one median nerve pass.
Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness and weakness of the fingers, hands and wrist sometimes so intense that they awaken the sufferer at night. One out of 10 people suffers from CTS. It usually affects domestic workers, secretaries, computer users, meat cutters, assembly line workers, carpenters, musicians and others who do repetitive tasks with their hands.
Traditional medical treatment for CTS includes the application of splints, ice drugs, cortisone injections and even surgery. Medicine’s poor success in treating this painful condition led Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. to conclude: “Since the medical treatment for this condition is so often unsatisfactory, I have for years been recommending that my patients consult muscle and joint therapy specialists.”
Additionally, an unhealthy spine, or even unbalanced hips could lead to problems with the jaw, head and neck.
Your Spine & CTS
The relationship between spinal health and carpal tunnel has been documented by a number of individual who found spine nerve root irritation in patients who had carpal tunnel or ulnar neuropathy. Other have found that nerve compression in the neck can block the flow of nutrients to the nerves in the wrist, making it more susceptible to injury (this is called the double crush syndrome) Not surprising, when 1,000 cases of carpal tunnel syndrome were investigated, it was found that a large number of those suffering from CTS also had neck arthritis.
In light of what’s known about CTS, anyone suffering from it should see a chiropractor to ensure that their spine is free of spine subluxation. A chiropractic spinal adjustment may make the difference between a pain-free wrist or spinal surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most commonly a repetitive/accumulative
micro-trauma injury that eventually leads to swelling and inflammation of the
carpal tunnel. This inflammatory process is so severe it can lead to parasthesias
(tingling and numbness sensations) and paralysis (loss of muscle contraction)
in the hand and wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can take a while for the
condition to develop due to the accumulative nature.
Some of the most common contributing factors we see in our clinic are:
• Computer Use
• Gaming Use with Computers
• Repetitive Gripping Tasks i.e. Power Washing
• Weakness due to Muscle Atrophy
• Gripping Sports i.e. Golf, Tennis, Baseball
Often there are progressive states that the condition passes through ranging
from mild to severe. Phases of carpal tunnel development:
• Phase 1- Tendonitis in the forearm with no noticeable pain. Tightness of
the wrist tendons.
• Phase 2- Tendonitis of the forearm and wrist with painful trigger points
upon palpation. Shortening of the wrist tendons.
• Phase 3- (Phase 2 signs and symptoms) plus parasthesias (often at night).
Wrist pain, i.e. with opening jars etc.
• Phase 4- (Phase 3 signs and symptoms) plus loss of motor control, i.e. unable to turn doorknobs, hold objects or dropping objects.
The 26 bones in the hand and wrist are primarily controlled by flexor and
extensor tendons of the forearm. Often the carpal bones are out of alignment
creating more wear and tear, grinding sounds and inflammation. Getting the
carpal bones and wrist to articulate properly is key to restoring full range of
motion and reversing hand and wrist pain with CTS.
Reversing this condition without surgery is very successful in our clinic.
Even for phase 4 patients. The treatment protocol is a multidisciplinary
approach that works with special chiropractic extremity adjusting in
conjunction with proven stretching and strengthening protocols for all pain
levels. People who have suffered for years are surprised at how effective the