Carpal Tunnel Syndrome



The bones in your wrist form a tunnel where the median nerve runs through, along with tendons, ligament and blood vessels. The median nerve begins at the spinal cord and passes through openings in the lower neck, across the shoulder, down the arm, and passes through the wrist to the tips of the thumb and first three fingers.


If one or more bones of the wrist or neck shifts or "collapses" compression of the median nerve may result with symptoms such as inflammation, pain, weakness, numbness and/or nerve pressure. This can happen in both the hands and the feet.


Tingling, itching, burning, weakness and/or numbness in the palm of the hand to the thumb and the first three fingers. These symptoms can worsen over time. It may begin with minor tingling then developing a weakened grip, some people may develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb.

How Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Develop and Who Does It Affect?

Some people may have a smaller tunnel which can make the compression around the median nerve more likely. Though more often than not it may develop because of overuse or repetitive motions involving the wrist. CTS can develop because of injury to the wrist that may cause swelling, inflammatory arthritis, hypothyroidism, poor work ergonomics, repetitive use of vibrating tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.

CTS often affects adults, but it is more common in women. Factory workers, grocery store clerks, assembly-line workers, manufacturing workers can all be affected by CTS. It can affect those who work at a computer (data-entry and the like), but contrary to popular belief it does not increase the risk of CTS.

Diagnosis & Treatment(s):

A thorough examination is required, and would include an examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, neck. The doctor of Chiropractic will use specific tests to try and reproduce the symptoms of CTS. Other tests may be needed such as X-rays and laboratory tests.  

Chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce pain in the affected joint(s), and will perform specific adjustments where needed. Massage therapy along with stretching will help to increase range of motion that has been restricted. With treatment and the patient's cooperation the ability to recover is significant. This may include moderate lifestyle changes while healing takes place such as: Resting the wrist, avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms (repetitive motions, etc.), using a splint to immobilize the joint, and using cold compresses that will help decrease inflammation.

Proper posture and movement as instructed by your doctor of chiropractic can help prevent CTS recurrences.