The misdiagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is often the reason behind failed carpal tunnel surgeries!
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In the back of your wrist there is a tunnel and a strong band of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament. Running through the space between your ligament and the arch is your median nerve. It goes down your arm and forearm, passes through the tunnel at your wrist, and goes into your hand. If there is plenty of space for your median nerve you feel no pain because the nerve is receiving messages properly. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when that arch in your wrist starts to fall or become inflamed, putting pressure on the median nerve and causing it to become pinched.
How do I know if I have Carpal Tunnel?
True carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, numbness, and tingling in your thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. If you have whole hand pain or tingling sensations, that is not true carpal tunnel. Whole hand sensitivity is the product of multiple crush syndrome. Multiple crush is very common, and it is when you not only have a pinched nerve in your wrist, but you have them in places throughout your arm and sometimes all the way up to the neck. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often misdiagnosed and most people who have it also have multiple crush.
What are the causes?
Carpal tunnel has a variety of different causes but it typically comes from overuse. Repetitive motions like typing on a computer for eight hours a day, or using your wrist like mechanics do, can put a lot of extra stress on the arch. These movements cause that tunnel to swell or fall which puts pressure on your median nerve. Now you are looking at a classic pinched nerve in your wrist which affects the three fingers in your hand. If you have a job or hobby that is causing you to overwork your wrists it is also possible your arm and neck are overworked as well, which can lead to more pinched nerves.
Downside of Surgical Treatment
The medical treatment for carpal tunnel is to snip the ligament that is holding the nerve in the tunnel. The nerve now has more space and can receive the messages being sent from the brain. The nerve is no longer being compressed and the pain, numbness, and tingling go away. The downside to surgery is that you will not have the same stability in your wrist. You may have a tough time opening jars and doing other day to day activities. I am happy to work with your medical doctor and collaborate on treatments. However, when it comes to surgery once that ligament is snipped there is no going back.
Chiropractic Treatment to Carpal Tunnel
The conservative approach to carpal tunnel is to work to increase the space in your arch so it doesn’t compress your nerve. I work on your muscles around your wrist so that they can stabilize and control movement better. I get your body realigned because wrist and arm pain is related to misalignments of bones, ligaments, and muscles in the neck. Most importantly, I work on multiple crush syndrome which causes pinched nerves throughout your arm and neck. Multiple crush is very common and often accounts for the failed carpal tunnel surgeries.
If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and are considering surgery, talk to a chiropractor first because you may have multiple crush syndrome. Natural treatments are a great first option!
Dr. Steve Puckette