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Serious Neck Pain and Carpal Tunnel Symptoms?

Posted Oct 18 2008 9:26am

Hcp31034[1] If you are suffering with chronic neck pain, and you have arm and hand pain at the same time...they are most likely connected. At least that's been our experience at Executive Express Chiropractic at the SF Embarcadero Center.

As obvious as this may seem to some patients...there are just as many who do not make the neck-arm-hand connection...and neither does their doctor.

I used to run the Carpal Tunnel Injury Center in downtown San Francisco. We helped thousands of patients with various forms of carpal tunnel symptoms such as hand pain, arm pain, numbness & tingling of the upper extremities, weakness of grip, and night pain.

Many of these patients also had chronic neck pain...but many did not. Of those that did...only about a third thought that they were connected...same with their doctors. This was about 12 years ago and things are different now. It's pretty much common knowledge in the medical community that carpal tunnel symptoms are mostly caused from problems in the neck.

Some of the conditions in the neck that can cause symptoms in the hand are: herniated cervical discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, bulging cervical discs, vertebral subluxation, scalene syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, and forward head posture.

The nerves that exit from the bones in the neck, travel down the arm and into the hand. If there is pressure on these nerves from any of the conditions mentioned above, it can interfere with the transmission of nerve impulse to the hand...causing CTS symptoms. And...this can be happening without any neck pain.

Yes...that's right...you can have a nerve in the neck that has pressure on it from a disc herniation...and have no symptoms in the neck...the symptoms are in the arm and hand.

This is why it is so important for your carpal tunnel doctor to check from the neck to the hand when examining CTS symptoms...which is exactly what we do at my SF Financial District Carpal Tunnel Center.

And the treatment should also be to the neck, arm, and hands. The primary focus of the treatment should be to remove nerve pressure so the body can heal itself.

We accomplish this with specific spinal adjustments to the neck (very gentle), Active Release Techniques (ART), traction, exercises, and nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c if we need it.


The most important thing is knowing what to check and how to check Chronic neck pain & CTS symptoms. Then, knowing what kind of treatment to prescribe.  It's also important to know how to measure treatment progress and know if any ongoing chiropractic care will be needed to maintain the correction.

The bottom line is...you need to see the right doctor or risk suffering needlessly with severe neck, arm, and hand pain.

Do some homework...check online in your area for a doctor that treats carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and has a spinal decompression machine, because sometimes we need it.

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