Over the years, I have seen many patients complaining of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which nerves get compressed in the wrist causing numbness and tingling in the hands. It is very common today due to the amount of desk work and typing that many individuals complete.
Many clients are frustrated with prior treatments they have received for carpal tunnel syndrome. Common medical treatments include rest, ice, use of over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and wrist splints or braces. Physical or occupational therapy is used in some cases as well. When conservative treatments are not effective, many individuals opt for surgery to take pressure off the compressed nerves in the wrist.
I have treated many patients who have completed conservative care and/or surgery prior to coming in to the office. Many of these individuals are frustrated by the lack of response they have received from prior treatment. In fact, some individuals do not receive symptom relief after surgery. Why is this the case?
In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is misdiagnosed. Numbness and tingling in the hands can come from four major areas in the body. This includes wrist issues (i.e. traditional carpal tunnel syndrome), elbow issues (i.e. tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, ulnar nerve entrapment), shoulder problems and issues with the neck.
Commonly the neck and shoulder contribute to the symptoms patients experience in their hands. Nerves exit near your armpit (known as the axilla) and run down your arm. When our shoulder shifts forward, or we have permanent changes in our posture, these nerves exiting near the armpit can be pinched, causing symptoms down the arm. Additionally, a pinched nerve in the cervical spine will cause numbness, tingling and pain down the arm.
It is imperative that areas such as the elbow, shoulder, and neck are evaluated when a person is diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Often, it is assumed that the issue is localized to the wrist, and other areas of the body are not evaluated.
At Precision Chiropractic and Massage, it is my job to evaluate your entire body including your shoulders, neck, elbow and wrists to determine the source of the problem. Each new patient receives a thorough exam to identify “structural shifts.”
You are probably asking, “what is a structural shift?” Bones in our spine and other areas of our skeleton can complete shifts or movements over time. These movements may begin as minor but become more significant. Have you ever seen someone who has one shoulder higher that the other? Or someone who’s belt rides much higher on one side? These are example of significant structural shifts that are visible to the naked eye. In other cases, they are subtler. However, even subtle structural shifts put pressure on adjacent nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
I correct structural shifts using a gentle hand held instrument which moves the bone back in to place. When the bone is in its proper position, we experience relief of the pressure on the nerve and subsequent relief of symptoms.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, do not hesitate to contact our office for a complimentary consultation.
*For informational purposes only