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Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome A Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) Or Is It Genetic ?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:34pm

San Francisco Back and Wrist Pain Doctor Comments on Recent Study:

We have delivered tens of thousands of treatments over the past 15 years to San Francisco Bay Area residents with Carpal Tunnel Symptoms. Notice how I underlined the word symptoms. It has been my experience here in San Francisco (and this has been supported by research) that most patients that present with Carpal Tunnel Symptoms, do not in fact have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS ). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is actually rare, and genetics is said to play the primary role according to a new study presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Actually, a study came out of the Mayo Clinic in 2001 that found heavy computer use, even up to seven hours per day, did not increase a person’s risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This really caused an uproar in the medical community. Personally, it just supported my view that the majority of CTS related symptoms are the result of nerve interference/irritation in the cervical spine (neck). This is where the nerves originate that travel through the Carpal Tunnel. This nerve pressure or irritation can result from herniated discs in the neck, or misaligned vertebra, what we chiropractors call a subluxation or muscle spasms, or a combination of all three. And yes, subluxations (or even disc herniations) can result from repetitive stress injuries (RSI). Here's the thing:

YOU GET THE SAME SYMPTOMS FROM SUBLUXATIONS OR HERNIATED DISCS IN THE NECK AS YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME ! YES, THE SAME SYMPTOMS

This is what makes CTS so hard to diagnose and treat. My experience at my San Francisco Financial District Carpal Tunnel Center has been that CTS as a true stand alone diagnosis is rare. Usually the primary source of the symptoms is the neck. Typically, we will treat the neck, shoulders, elbows, and hands, on both sides. In fact, even if someone does in fact have true CTS diagnosis, we will still treat the neck to the fingertips on both sides. In my expert opinion, anything less is substandard treatment. This is the path of the nerves (neck to fingers). And, anywhare along  the way where there is a joint there is a potential for nerve pressure or abnormal muscle/motion patterns which can alter nerve function. I have taken some patients that were basically told they were going to have to learn to live with their problem and returned them to normal. Most of the time we were just able to make a lot of people much better than they were, without drugs or surgery. If you or anyone you know is suffering with CTS Symptoms or RSI and feel like you have nowhwere to turn, give us a call at 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary CTS Exam.

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