Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury caused by a pinched or compressed nerve typically in the wrist but may be associated with the forearm or the neck. The prolonged compression of this nerve, in any of the three spots mentioned causes pain and numbness in the fingers and the hand. An accurate and thorough physical examination and history can save time and money by finding the cause of the symptoms and prevent surgery on a ligament that is not the cause. A person with this condition may have night/daytime tingling in the hands, disturbed sleep as a result, the fingers may feel useless, a sense of swelling in the fingers or hand when none is visible, loss of strength in the hand over time, and pain shooting up the arm as far as the neck or shoulder. Many CTS symptoms are related to the compression further up the nerve tract in the forearm or in to the neck not directly in the wrist.
It is often observed that the actual carpal tunnel is not the culprit of the pain and symptoms. A major contributor is the pronator teres. It is a little muscle in the forearm that rotates the wrist in to the typing position. While holding this position for hours on end, the muscle begins to enlarge and compress the median nerve which runs through this muscle causing the symptoms. Often associated with the tightness of the pronator teres is a restriction in movement of the elbow or wrist joints. These issues can be corrected with trigger point/massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic adjusting of the restricted movement and muscle tension. In many cases I have observed a dual compression issue with patients I see who have these symptoms. Their neck and upper back are also extremely tight which leads to the nerves being compressed or pinched in both the neck and forearm.
Numerous research studies has shown that a combination of chiropractic, acupuncture and a home care program alleviate the symptoms and correct the underlying cause of the problems which prevents surgery. These therapies decrease the compression on the nerve at the various points of injury which eliminates the symptoms and corrects the underlying imbalances. If you suffer from hand pain or have been diagnosed with CTS give us a call. If we can help we will, if we can’t, we can guide you through the recovery phase after surgery with acupuncture to speed healing.
Dr. Bailey is an Acupuncturist, Functional Nutritionist and Chiropractic Physician. Dr. Bailey’s clinical practice is as diverse as his education. His focus is on wellness from prenatal to elder care. He covers all aspects of holistic family practice in the natural realm of the healing arts. Dr. Bailey uses acupuncture, functional medicine, nutritional guidance, functional metabolic testing, blood and hormone testing, herbal medicine, exercise guidance, detoxification and chiropractic to aid the patient in recovery and wellness. Pain Management, sports medicine and performance enhancement are specialties within his practice.
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