Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the extremities and the cause of patients loses in medical bill and time off work.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition involving the median nerve. The median nerve originates in the cervical spine and runs into the forearm then the hand. If the median nerve were to get compressed somewhere along the nerve path CTS occurs. It is commonly thought that the nerve only gets trapped at the carpal ligament. This is a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. However, the nerve can also become impinged in the neck, elbow, or forearm. This could be a reason why all carpal tunnel surgeries sometimes don’t get the results as expected. The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. CTS is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the extremities.
Patient’s experience burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand, thumb, index, and middle fingers. These are the most common symptoms. Since many people sleep with wrists flexed. Symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms progress, they may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people muscle atrophy at the base of the thumb, and are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch. Usually occurs in adults, with women 3 times more likely to develop it than men. The dominant hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe. CTS is common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meatpacking, and similar industries, as well as pregnant women.
In addition patients that have smaller carpal tunnels than others, which makes the median nerve compression more likely. CTS can also develop because of an injury to the wrist that causes swelling. Over activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint, poor work ergonomics, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause. All of which could cause CTS.
CTS should be diagnosed and treated early. A Chiropractic examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck can help determine if your symptoms are related to daily activities or to an underlying structural disorder. Doctors of Chiropractic are able to use other specific tests to try to reproduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractic adjustments of the spine and extremities where the nerve pressure occurring is the treatment of choice. Other recommendations include stretching and strengthening exercises soft tissue mobilization techniques, resting the affected hand or wrist. Immobilization of the wrist through a splint and applying cold packs to reduce swelling due to inflammation is also recommended. Proper posture and movement as instructed by your doctor of chiropractic can help prevent CTS recurrences. For the majority of carpal tunnel cases come into Family First. If you or someone you know is suffering from CTS, feel free to email the clinic at www.family1stchiro.ca or call us at 403-347-3261 for consultation and to set up a time to have your spine and nervous system checked.
Dr. Elton Clemence is a Chiropractor at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness, located In Red Deer, AB 142 Erickson Dr ,www.family1stchiro.ca 403-347-3261 to book an appointment.