San Francisco Chiropractor and Carpal Tunnel Doctor Comments:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), a painful condition in the wrist, is often times very difficult to diagnose and treat. There are 8 carpal bones in the wrist (carpal is latin for wrist). These 8 little bones form a hallow tube we call the carpal tunnel ( carpal tunnel diagram ).
Inside the carpal tunnel is a big nerve, called the Median nerve. It is called Median Nerve because it travels down the middle of the forearm. It actually originates up in the neck, where it is created by branches of the lower cervical nerve roots. This is important to understand...because pressure on the cervical nerve roots as they exit the bones in the neck...can also cause carpal tunnel symptoms.
By definition, CTS is compression of the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel. This can occur two ways...either the diameter of the carpal tunnel becomes smaller...or the contents of the carpal tunnel expand...compressing the median nerve.
Misaligned bones in the wrist, because of overuse, spills and falls, and just life...can cause the carpal tunnel to narrow, irritating the median nerve. Repetitive use can also cause the flexor tendons in the carpal tunnel to become inflamed...we call this tendinitis. This is an example of how the contents of the tunnel can expand...putting pressure on the median nerve.