San Francisco- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions that there is. CTS is also very difficult to treat. I have spent the past 15 years in The San Francisco Financial District treating CTS and other repetitive stress injuries (RSI) at my Carpal Tunnel Injury Center. The reason CTS is hard to diagnose (and treat) is because the patient presents with pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, burning, or throbbing arms and hands. The classic sign is night pain in the hands that wakes you up. What makes it so difficult to diagnose is that nerve irritation in the neck where the nerves exit the spine can cause the same exact symptoms, and sometimes there is no associated neck pain. The nerves in the neck can be irritated by bones that are out of alignment (subluxations) and there are no symptoms. This interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses to the arms and hands and predisposes them to injury. So, if someone is using their hands a lot, like an office worker, hair stylist, assembly line worker, or daily computer user (anyone?), and the upper extremities are not receiving full power from the nerves, they can become inflamed, causing the symptoms we associate with CTS. It's common to see the diagnosis of CTS for any kind of hand/arm pain. In actuality, CTS is usually not the problem. The problem is in the neck. I have found subluxations in the neck to be the missing link in many severe cases of RSI and CTS. The treatment must include neck, shoulders, arms, and hands, on both sides. Both sides because the side that seems the worst might actually have been compensating for the other side. We do nonsurgical cervical spinal decompression, spinal adjustments, upper extremity adjustments, massage, cervical traction, cold laser, and exercises for the neck and upper extremities (both sides) vs. just looking at the pain in the hand and treating the pain with pain pills or cortisone (and often times not even considering the neck) or even surgery. The results speak for themselves. We have prevented many surgeries over the years and look forward to helping many more patients in the future. If you or anyone you know is suffering with CTS, you should give us a call before you consider surgery or cortisone (415-392-2225).