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Can A Disc Herniation In My Neck Cause Carpal Tunnel Symptoms?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:33pm

San Francisco Chiropractor and Herniated Disc Doctor Comments:

1977w1 The nerves that control the hand, come from the neck. If there is pressure on the cervical nerve roots  as they exit the cervical spine...say from a herniated disc...or degenerative disc disease (DDD)...it can cause symptoms in the hand. The same symptoms you get when you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

In fact...the nerve that is inside the carpal tunnel...the Median Nerve, is created by cervical nerve roots C5-T1. A small amount of pressure from a disc herniation...even the pressure of the weight of a pencil erasure, can cause pain, numbness/tingling, or weakness in the hands ( CTS symptoms ).

Images1Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the median nerve is compressed inside the carpal tunnel (wrist bones).  Usually, people that use their hands a lot, like court reporters, office workers, hair cutters, and athletes, get CTS...but, there are other risk factors as well (diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity, arthritis, and more).

I treat mostly downtown office workers at my SF Financial District Back & Wrist Pain Center...so we see our fair share of CTS...as well as cervical disc herniations.

Sometimes there is both a herniated disc in the neck (or other form of cervical nerve root pressure), and carpal tunnel syndrome. This is called double crush syndrome...and is fairly common.

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