At one point during the "Dot-Com" go go years we were know as The Carpal Tunnel Injury Center. During this time we treated over 10,000 cases with "Carpal Tunnel SYMPTOMS". The most common signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are as follows:
Arm, Wrist or Hand Pain
Numbness or Tingling in the Arm and Hands
Weakness of Grip
Swelling of the Hands and Fingers
Pain that radiates from the Hands into the Forearm
Loss of Sensation in the Fingertips
These are the classic signs and symptoms of CTS. True carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the Median Nerve in the wrist. The Median Nerve which actually originates in the neck passes through the 8 carpal bones which form a tunnel in your wrist called the "carpal tunnel". There are also some tendons and blood vessels in the tunnel.
The tendons in the carpal tunnel can get over-worked and become inflamed which puts pressure on the Median Nerve. The carpal bones themselves can lose their proper alignment from trauma or repetitive trauma and put pressure on the Median causing CTS.
Women have a smaller carpal tunnel and are more prone to CTS. Carpal Tunnel is common in pregnant women because they take on water to build and protect the baby and this can cause swelling of the tendons in the tunnel and CTS. Smokers have a much higher incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome. High fat and high salt diets can cause water retention and CTS symptoms. Certain medications can cause CTS symptoms as well. Patients with Diabetes and other diseases (obesity) are more prone to CTS.
Then, there are the occupational risks of jobs that require repetitive motions such as office workers on a computer, hair cutters, meat cutters, assembly line workers. We work primarily with SF Financial District office workers.
Hobby's such as bowling, tennis, racquetball, knitting, golf, or anything that requires lots of hand motion will also predispose you to carpal tunnel syndrome.
But here's the deal. In spite of everything I outlined above...only a small percentage of patients that present with carpal tunnel SYMPTOMS actually have carpal tunnel SYNDROME .
Huh!...What do you mean?
Well, here's why...Pressure on the nerves in the neck that form the Median Nerve (see image above) causes the same symptoms as pressure on the Median Nerve in the carpal tunnel.
That's right. Just like pressure on a garden hose near the faucet will cause the same symptoms as pressure on the hose near the sprinkler (a decrease in water flow).
Pressure on the median nerve at the source causes the same symtoms as presure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.
And you are way more likely to have pressure on the nerves in the neck...what chiropractors call a "Subluxation" or Pinched Nerve , than you are to have true CTS.
The reason for this is simple. As the nerves exit from the bones in the neck they are vulnerable to Subluxations. All the spills and falls we took as a child. Sitting at a desk at school for 12-18 years, sports injuries, car accidents, sitting at a desk all day at work...LIFE!
Yes, just being alive and having an active lifestyle predisposes us to Subluxations in the neck and carpal tunnel symptoms.
If your doctor does not know to look at the neck you may never get the right treatment. And, just because your doctor is able to identify the neck as the source of the problem does not necessarily mean they know how to treat it. This is why we get so many referrals from medical doctors and therapists...our chiropractors know how to treat subluxations and pinched nerves in the neck...and carpal tunnel syndrome.
We use chiropractic adjustments to the neck, arms, and hands, deep tissue laser, Graston and Active Release Techniques, Kinesiotape, Exercises and more. We have perfected our methods over the years and have taught it to other chiropractors as well.
So, if you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to find out if we can help...please call 415-392-2225 to schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Doctors .Dr. Eben Davis