Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Millions of people suffer from CTS making it the most common nerve entrapment condition that we see as a Chiropractor Little Falls MN. It is a condition where the Median Nerve becomes trapped in the wrist causing numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You see, the Median Nerve is just one of three nerves the course through the arm. Furthermore, each one of those nerves can get trapped in a number of places other than the wrist (like: the neck, shoulder, arm and hand) in a manner that would cause numbness, tingling, and pain. Truth is, it’s rare to have only one nerve trapped in only one spot which is partly why nearly 50% of people experience a return of symptoms after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery.

Its concerning that the U.S. Department of Labor reported a tenfold increase in the number of disorders related to repetitive trauma with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome being the most frequent between 1981-1991. Evidence points to a combination of repetitive work, forceful work, work involving repeated use of the hand, wrist, and elbow, and exposure to prolonged or repeated vibration as the most significant risk factors for the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and its counterparts (see below).

The three nerves of the arm are: The Median Nerve, the Ulnar Nerve (aka funny bone), and the Radial Nerve. The Median Nerve is the only nerve that passes through the Carpal Tunnel and originates at the C5-C7 levels of the cervical spine (the neck). The Ulnar Nerve is the largest unprotected nerve in the body meaning that it’s not covered by muscle or bone making it very common for it to be injured. It connects directly to the ring and little finger and originates from the C8-T1 levels of the cervical spine. The Radial Nerve supplies the back of the arm and originates from the C5-T1 spinal nerves.

If impingement on any one of these nerves isn’t caught and treated properly by a Chiropractor Little Falls MN, it can worsen to the point of atrophy (muscle loss). And in the case of the median nerve, loss of the thumb muscles can occur. We have seen as a Chiropractor Little Falls MN that the severity of the symptoms can range from numbness and tingling that’s barely noticeable and only when the arm is in certain positions to very severe causing weakness to the point where it’s difficult to hold on to a cup of coffee or to comb your hair. One thing is for certain, the longer the nerve is entrapped the longer it takes to get that nerve to heal.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Repetitive use
  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Certain diseases

 

The first step in getting rid of symptoms is finding the cause to those symptoms. In the case of numbness, tingling, and pain as a result of nerve irritation, it is important to arrive at an accurate diagnosis from a Chiropractor Little Falls MN and begin treatment quickly because over time the condition of the nerve will deteriorate, making it more difficult to resolve. At Chiro Plus Rehab we like to be the Chiropractor Little Falls MN that starts with a thorough assessment of all three nerves that travel through your arm. We also check your neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist for any misalignments that may be irritating the nerve. We also check each nerve’s ability to glide through the arm normally—crucial to be symptom-free. We also look for any muscle tightness and knots that could pinch on the nerves throughout the neck, shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and hand. When needed, we also perform orthopedic and neurologic tests. Digital x-rays can be of value with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so that the Chiropractor Little Falls MN can determine the presence of spinal misalignment that may be contributing to the nerve irritation.

If the condition is too far progressed, then we refer out of a Chiropractor Little Falls MN. Basically said, we leave no stone unturned when searching for what’s causing your numbness, tingling, pain, and perhaps weakness.

Conditions that are often confused for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Pronator Syndrome
  • Interosseous Syndrome
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar nerve)
  • Tunnel of Guyon Syndrome (Ulnar nerve)
  • Radial Nerve Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cheiralgia Paresthetica

 

The standard approach by most Chiropractor Little Falls MN to numbness, tingling, pain, and perhaps weakness in the hand/arm is usually a combination or ice/heat, rest, wearing a brace, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and maybe physical therapy and cortisone injections. And if that doesn’t work, then you’re up for surgery. At this point it’s worth repeating, up to 50% of people who have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery have a return of symptoms. At Chiro Plus Rehab our approach is aimed at the cause of the symptoms. Here at this Chiropractor Little Falls MN we combine adjustments, hands-on muscle therapy, and therapeutic exercises as well as passive modalities like ultrasound to eliminate symptoms as quickly as possible. These therapies reduce internal swelling, decrease pain and/or numbness and tingling. We also ensure that if any other nerves are involved in your symptoms, they’re addressed too. We then provide you with self-care advice to keep things good once they’re there. Why? Because our goal as a Chiropractor Little Falls MN is to provide effective, fast relief so you can get back to life. We’ll instruct you on how to avoid activities that compress the wrist and forearm such as proper wrist support while typing on a computer and advise you on how to change your diet to support nerve healing; specifically reducing salt intake and increase B vitamins.

 

A Doctor’s Note:

The average person with numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands or forearms waits far too long before they seek help. This condition can be tricky because when it starts, it’s usually on-and-off without any real rhyme or reason, so it’s fairly easy to ignore. That dangerous because the longer a nerve is irritated the easier it becomes for that nerve to stay irritated and the harder it becomes to get that nerve to calm down. If you suspect you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or maybe it’s been diagnosed, do yourself a favor and don’t wait before getting it assessed by a non-drug, non-surgical physical care specialist like myself or other colleagues like me. Your nerves will be glad you did!

So if you’re suffering from numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands, don’t wait. Give us a call at 320-632-9224 and schedule your $37 New Patient Special today. Don’t live another day with pain. We can help. Call us!

“My hands were falling asleep and were numb. I had a hard time holding on to a dinner fork. I came to Dr. Grams after I had seen improvement with my wife. And now the numbness is gone!”

Tom O.

We don’t promise a cure or claim to be superior, we simply like to believe that our clinic is built on helping people feel better. This content is written for Chiro Plus Rehab by a third party. The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from Chiro Plus Rehab, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for any opinion of a trained medical professional. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a medical professional. The choice of a chiropractor or other medical professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements or this post. The opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Chiro Plus Rehab or Dr. Ben Grams.