Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Some of Its Causes
Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: Research has shown certain work practices and risk factors, such as being overweight, can elevate your risk for developing carpal tunnel symptoms.
As a chiropractor, I often look to the spine when my patients have nerve pain. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome have a history of a whiplash injury or other neck trauma. But how can a neck injury make me susceptible to carpal tunnel? Simple. When you sprain the ligaments in your neck, this can cause damage and inflammation, which can irritate a nerve where it exits the spinal cord and courses between tiny bones to eventually reach your hand. If the nerve is irritated at the neck region, then this makes it more vulnerable to compression as it passes through the wrist tunnel. Signs that your carpal tunnel pain is a neck problem include shoulder and neck pain and/or a history of a neck trauma.
How can this possibly be fixed “chiropractically”? The first step is to diagnose if you have a primary wrist or neck problem, or a problem with both areas. A thorough examination of the neck, which may include x-rays, is important. The carpal bones of the wrist can be out of alignment or the vertebrae in the neck can be out of normal position. A specific adjustment can help to correct the abnormal posture and restore mobility.
You may also need to do strengthening exercises, especially if the condition is long-standing or you’ve worn a brace. The muscles of the lower arm are integral to providing wrist support and optimum function
Contractures can develop over time as well, fixating the nerves and not allowing them to glide normally with movements. Deep tissue therapy such as “pin and stretch” and deep massage and break up knots and tight tissues or scarring.
With most patients, alignment is an issue, as is flexibility and strength. I consider the cause of most carpal tunnel symptoms to be multifactorial. Not one exercise, or one pill, or even one adjustment, is right for everyone. However, it’s important to consider conservative options first before deciding on invasive surgery. Even rest and taking pain pills is not really exploring all of the potentially conservative options available.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!