Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), also called “repetitive trauma disorder” or “overuse syndrome” (OS), occurs when the median nerve of the wrist is irritated.
Composed of the carpel bones, the wrist forms a tunnel-like structure, the carpel 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 treatments for CTS include the application of splints, drugs, cortisone injections and even surgery. Medicine’s poor success in treating this painful condition led Robert Mendelssohn, 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.”
Your Spine and CTS
A number of individuals who found spinal nerve root irritation in patients who had carpel tunnel or ulnar neuropathy have documented the relationship between spinal health and carpel tunnel. Others 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 surprisingly, when 1,000 cases of carpel tunnel syndrome were investigated, it was found that a large number of those suffering from CTS also had neck arthritis.
The treatment your chiropractor will perform will be to gently realign the eight bones of the wrist and potentially the neck as well to reduce the irritation and swelling. When the swelling decreases, so do the carpal tunnel symptoms. With proper care, the bones and nerves to the wrist and the neck will function properly for many years to come.
Chiropractic treatment for this ailment is often a first choice because it is non-invasive, gentle, drug free, and surgery free. The aim of the treatment is to move the joints into position so they can work as they were designed to and allow your nerves to function with no interference. Once the joints are properly aligned, the stress in the area is lessened and the pain and numbness are relieved.
In light of what is known about CTS, anyone suffering from it should see a chiropractor to ensure that their spine is free of spinal subluxations. A chiropractic spinal adjustment may make the difference between a pain free wrist and spinal surgery.