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San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Treatment Center comments: Herniated Discs of the Cervical Spine cause the same Symptoms as CTS

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Herniated Cervical Discs present with the same signs and symptoms. Hand pain. Numbness and Tingling. Burning, Aching, Throbbing hands. Weakness of grip. Night pain, although this is more common with CTS. Pain radiating from the hands up the arms. Elbow pain. Finger pain. Loss of fine motor control and difficulty performing tasks with the hands. The nerve that is involved with CTS is the Median Nerve. It runs down the middle of the forearm and through an opening created by the alignment of the bones in the wrist (carpal is Latin for wrist) to innervate or control part of the hand. When this opening is occluded, either by the bones losing their normal position or the contents of the tunnel expanding (tendons are also in the tunnel which can become inflamed from overuse), it can irritate the median nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. This is actually what CTS is, compression of the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel. So how does the neck fit into this equation ? Here's the thing; the median nerve actually originates in the neck. It is created by branches of the nerves that exit from the lower part of the cervical (neck) spine. When you have disc herniations you can irritate these nerves causing the same exact symptoms as if you had carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why it is so important to check the neck when patients present with hand pain. In addition, you must know what to do about it. Any treatment that does not address this is below modern day standards in my opinion. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the neck is actually the "missing link" with most of these conditions. My examination and treatment protocol includes neck to fingers on both sides. We have taught our methods around the world to other doctors. Just make sure you see someone that has a lot of experience working with these conditions. Spinal decompression can also be incorporated into the mix in certain cases. If you are local and would like to see me, great. If you are out of town and want a referral, drop me an email:    

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