Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Chiropractic Care
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury caused by a pinched or impingement nerve(s) in the wrist, resulting in pain and numbness in the fingers and muscle weakness of the thumb.
The name “carpal tunnel” receives its name from the bones in the wrist, called carpals, which form a “tunnel” through which the nerves pass through.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?
Pain and / or tingling in one or both hands or fingers, frequently worse during activity or at night.
Feeling of weakness in the fingers, difficulty to squeeze or hold things.
Sensation that fingers are swollen even though little or no swelling is showing.
Loss of strength in gripping or carrying items.
Pain shooting from the hand up the arm as far as the neck or shoulder.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel pain?
The carpal tunnel is filled with tendons (attaching muscle to bone) that control finger and thumb movement.
Tasks requiring highly repetitive and stressful movements of the wrist can cause pinching of the nerve(s) resulting in swelling and inflammation around the tendons, producing carpal tunnel.
Double Crush Syndrome: The Neck Connection and often time the Key to Correction
Because pathway of the nerves to the hands connect all the way up to neck, any pinching or impingement at the neck (the first “crush”) or along this pathway can actually affect recovery and healing. Such impingement of these nerves can make them more susceptible or vulnerable to carpal tunnel syndrome (the second “crush”).
This is called the double crush phenomenon and is widely referenced in the scientific and medical research as a consistent finding in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome and can explain why some patients do not recover with care.
Often times in a sudden injury or bad posture position over time, patients can suffer double crush syndrome to the neck area. If the patient suffering from double crush syndrome and is just treated for carpal tunnel syndrome only, often times the treatment is not only ineffective, but the symptoms can get worse.
Such advanced stages can become quite serious, involving a loss of sensation, muscle deterioration, and permanent loss of function. It is important for the patient to be check for this syndrome.
How can Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C., Chiropractor help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
First Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C. will perform a physical, neurological and chiropractic examination to determine if there is carpal tunnel problem as well the double crush syndrome.
He may also perform more sophisticated diagnostic procedures ranging from X-rays or Surface EMG to reveal the cause and the nature of the injury and to see if chiropractic care can help.
After analyzing this information, Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C. determines if the patient can be help by chiropractic care and the type of treatment needed.
Chiropractic treatment involves gentle low-force techniques and therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation to the area, as well as help restore proper joint alignment and posture to help promote the healing cycle.
As the problem improves, patient education involving corrected exercises and stretching often time is given to help strengthen the weaken area and help prevent future injury.
Do you have any questions about carpal tunnel syndrome? Just call me at 858-794-4007, and I will be glad to answer your questions promptly or make you an appointment.
Dr. Mark Mashike, D.C.