Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

True carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a compression of the median nerve as it passes beneath the transverse carpal ligament at the wrist, which forms the roof of the “carpal tunnel”. This compression causes irritation and inflammation of the neural tissue which can produce pain, tingling, numbness and even weakness.

carpal-tunnelThe median nerve is just one of many nerves that are prone to compression injuries and can cause symptoms similar to CTS. Also, the median nerve itself is part of a neural network that originates at the spinal cord and travels throughout the upper extremity, and compression can happen anywhere along its path. Just as an example, a small amount of compression of one of the nerve roots in the cervical spine (neck) can produce tingling and numbness in your fingers similar CTS. In fact, CTS is often misdiagnosed. Even with the help of advanced diagnostic tests, the error rate is surprising high.

Risk Factors

A number of factors have been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although by themselves they don’t cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase your chances of developing or aggravating this condition. Of particular importance are workplace demands and repetitive movements.

  1. Workplace Factors: Such as prolonged sitting, desk worker populations, and excessive computer work.
  2. Repetitive Movements: Activities that subject the individual to prolonged or repeated wrist flexion, excessive vibration or repetitive twisting of the wrist.
  3. Anatomic factors: Such as a history of trauma, a narrow carpal tunnel (one of the reasons that CTS is more common in women).
  4. Nerve-damaging or inflammatory conditions: Including Diabetes, alcoholism, and Rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. Alterations in the balance of body fluids. Certain conditions: such as pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure can increase fluid retention causes nerve irritation.
  6. Posture, Posture, Posture! We have become expert sitters, both in our professional and personal lives. This causes a cascade of deleterious events that leads to overloading of your joints and muscles and eventually their premature breakdown. Often time nerve compression becomes part of the collateral damage.

How Can We Help?

It’s important to be evaluated if you thing that you might have CTS. The diagnosis is tricky and damage can often get much worse when not address. Our doctors specialize in manual therapies such as Active Release Technique and Graston Technique which are uniquely designed to release the entrapped nerve and restore proper function. In addition, our doctor will examine the entire kinetic and neural chain, looking for further contributing factors. Our goal at Aldrich Chiropractic is to get you out of pain as quickly as possible without the use of drugs or surgery, and to treat the underlying problem so the symptoms don’t return.