Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnel syndromeMost patients walking into our office have a job that requires them to be in front of a computer for extended periods of time. It’s this repetitive activity that can lead to symptoms that may or not be carpal tunnel syndrome.

You can experience numbness and tingling in the arm, wrist, and hand and feel that you do in fact have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), but you likely don’t.

True CTS must be evaluated using objective nerve testing such as a needle EMG and nerve conduction studies. Most of our patients experiencing numbness and tingling (also called paresthesia) in their arm believe they have CTS and treat it as such.

They may arrive with a wrist brace and their certain they’ll need to get surgery in order to alleviate their symptoms. Thankfully, this is not commonly the case. More often, they have a neck problem that is affecting their arm.

Since the nerves that supply the arms are in the lower neck, any misaligned vertebra can lead to inflammation of the area that may lead to symptoms just like CTS. Recently, a patient was even scheduled for carpal tunnel surgery. She decided that she just couldn’t go through with it, and instead visited our office.

Upon x-rays examination, we discovered a badly misaligned vertebra in the lower portion of her neck with degenerative changes. This same vertebra can affect the nerve root that matched the nerve pattern she was experiencing.

After just a handful of adjustments, she noticed significant decrease in her tingling and pain in her hand. Upon completing her treatment plan, she noted that it had been weeks since had any wrist-related symptoms – a first in years.

Did we treat her wrist? Not once. We instead focused on the source of her pain, which was coming from her neck. Once we restored normal position and movement in her cervical spine, the nerve pressure was released and her symptoms improved.

If you think you may have CTS, consider a visit to a chiropractor. You may be able to avoid invasive treatments and even surgery by having a Doctor of Chiropractic evaluate your neck. Should wrist adjustments be needed, your chiropractor can do that too. Ongoing research on the link between chiropractic care and the relief of these symptoms is growing each year.