Profiled Condition: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is this condition?
This very common condition results from compression of a nerve (The median nerve) as it crosses the wrist.
What does it feel like to have this condition?
The symptoms include numbness and tingling sensations in any or all of the finger tips of the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. These sensations are often worse at night when you are trying to sleep. Shaking the hand may temporarily relieve the symptoms at this stage of the problem. Pain and swelling in the area may also be present. Often there may be neck and shoulder pain as well. As the problem progresses there may be weakness of grip strength causing you to drop things and a visible loss of muscle tone in the muscle mass of the hand near the base of the thumb (This area of muscle is called the thenar eminence.
What causes this condition?
The condition may result from anything which causes compression of the nerve in this area. There are many possibilities including tendinitis, overuse of the hands and wrists in certain positions, use of vibration tools, trauma and even fluid changes that occur in the wrist with pregnancy.
The most recent information
The most recent information on CTS says that CTS is not just a problem at the wrist. The nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome starts in your neck and travels all the way to the hand. Any pinching or irritation of the nerve in the neck, shoulder or elbow will make the nerve more sensitive to even a minor amount of pinching at the wrist. This has been seen to be the case clinically in most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Question: Why would you want to have a surgical procedure done to your wrist when a safe techniques. The nerve is very similar to wire that conducts electricity. A nerve conducts chemicals instead electricity. Any pinching of the nerve in the neck and/or shoulder will cause that flow of chemicals to be more easily cut off at the wrist.
How do we diagnose this condition?
Dr. Schwartz can diagnose carpal by asking you health history questions and using orthopedic and neurological testing that is easily done in our office. Usually our natural treatment is very successful. You should not wait however to seek our help. Conditions that have very prominent hand wasting of hand muscles and very weak grip strength may require surgery. If the diagnosis is in doubt and surgery is being considered then Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV} tests would be ordered to rule out other problems. Dr. Schwartz will refer you to hand surgeon if the condition does not respond to our natural methods.
Dr. Schwartz provides innovative cutting edge treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. He treats the entire pathway of the involved nerve from the neck to your fingers. This will treat not only carpal tunnel but also
- A carpal tunnel brace that keeps your wrist in a neutral position helps to reduce the compression to the nerve
- Electrical stimulation
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Massage and other soft tissue stretching techniques
- Exercise- can the pictures be used here? What about taking better pictures?