Could Chiropractic be the answer for your carpal tunnel pain?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by an irritation of the nerve that controls the thumb, index finger and middle finger. The median nerve.
It is characterized by pain, numbness, burning, tingling and sometimes weakness in those three fingers. You may also experience pain and stiffness in your neck and forearm muscles.
The median nerve begins at the base of your neck and is formed by the nerve roots that exit below C5, C6, C7 and T1. The nerve then travels into your arm pit, down the inside of your arm, crosses over the front side of your elbow and then travels down the front side of your forearm through your wrist in a structure called . . . you guessed it . . . the “carpal tunnel.” From there the median nerve branches and goes to the thumb, index finger and middle finger.
As I stated earlier, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by an irritation of the median nerve. That irritation can come from anywhere along the course of the nerve.
The surgical “treatment” for carpal tunnel syndrome is to cut the ligament that crosses over the carpal tunnel, which might make sense if the carpal tunnel was the cause of the problem.
There are two problems that I see with this surgery.
First, when the surgeon cuts the ligament on the front of the wrist, the ligament heals in about 8-12 weeks with scar tissue. Scar tissue is generally thicker than normal tissue which could actually make the problem worse in the long-term.
Second, Research in 2003 found that 90% of all carpel tunnel patients were found to have nerve irritation in their cervical spine. Cervical nerve irritation is caused by mechanical dysfunction of the spine and is best addressed with chiropractic care and exercise.
Third, experience has taught me that in addition to cervical nerve irritation, the median nerve can also become entrapped (and thus irritated), in the arm pit, just below the elbow and of course at the wrist.
Therefore, a comprehensive treatment plan for carpal tunnel syndrome must include hands-on examination and treatment of the cervical spine, upper thoracic spine, shoulder, elbow and wrist plus exercises to improve mobility and strength of those same areas.
And . . . that is my approach too treating “carpal tunnel syndrome.”
If you or anyone that you care about is experiencing pain, numbness or tingling in their thumb, index finger or middle finger . . .
I am here to help!