Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is an over diagnosed and often misdiagnosed condition. Research has indicated that surgery or wrist supports for carpal tunnel syndrome are not very effective when additional compression of the nerves is occurring in either the shoulder or neck. In order to treat a condition you must find the root cause. For CTS like symptoms, the root is often at the nerve root.
When a nerve is compressed only a little bit there are sometimes no symptoms that you notice. However, when you compress a nerve a little bit in multiple locations the results don’t just add up they can multiply. This is termed Double Crush Syndrome (DCS). For the nerves in our arms this means if you have a little neck problem and a little shoulder problem, then that minuscule problem at the wrist may be exaggerated. The nerves to our hands run a gambit. They come out from the neck joints, travel through the often tight scalene muscles, between the collarbone and the first rib, through the armpit, down the arm and through the carpal tunnel. At all of these choke points nerves can be compressed. It is therefore very important to find where the cause or causes of the injury are to determine whether you truly do have CTS or if it’s a DCS. Especially before you have your wrists cut open.
The standard of care for carpal tunnel treatment is, conservative care first. Chiropractic is conservative care, and chiropractors are trained in diagnosis and treatment of percisely these neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors will usually treat these symptoms by manipulating the wrist, elbow and neck as well as utilizing massage, ultrasound therapy, wrist supports, and other modalities. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center:
“…studies support the use of chiropractic treatment for CTS.
In the first study, 25 individuals diagnosed with CTS reported significant improvements in several measures of strength, range of motion, and pain after receiving chiropractic treatment. Most of these improvements were maintained for at least 6 months.
A second study compared the effects of chiropractic care with conservative medical care (wrist supports and ibuprofen) among 91 people with CTS. Both groups experienced significant improvement in nerve function, finger sensation, and comfort. The researchers concluded that chiropractic treatment and conservative medical care are equally effective for people with CTS”
If chiropractic is equally effective, and has less side effects, shouldn’t you go visit your chiropractor for that hand pain and numbness you’ve been feeling.