Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Archive for the 'Carpal Tunnel Syndrome' Category

Can You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common of the many “entrapment neuropathies”— nerve pinches in the arms or legs—likely because we use our hands and fingers repetitively for long time frames at work and during many of our hobbies. In addition, the wrist is a very complicated joint because it’s not a simple ball-and-socket [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What Are the "Warning Signs?"

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist, which can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and in some cases, a weak grip. At first, these symptoms are mild and infrequent, but over time can become more intense, frequent, and last longer. Most people don’t [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Can it Be Prevented?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a VERY common condition where the median nerve is compressed or squeezed as it passes through the wrist. One reason that it’s so common is because MANY daily activities require fast, repetitive use of the fingers, hands, and arms, and the friction of the rapidly moving muscle tendons inside the [..]

Is Surgery Necessary for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral entrapment neuropathy—that is, it’s the most common place to trap a nerve in the extremities (arms or legs). CTS affects 6-11% of adults in the general population, and it occurs in women more often than men. The cause is often difficult to determine but the most [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Why Is It So Bad at Night?

For those who have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), it’s no surprise that CTS is frequently most expressive during the night, often to the point of interrupting sleep and/or making it difficult to fall back to sleep. So why is that? The primary reason for nighttime CTS symptoms has to do with the wrist, as it [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – How Do I If Know I Have It?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is VERY common. If fact, it affects 3-6% of the general population, and up to 50% of those afflicted have it in both hands! So what makes it so common? Here are several reasons: 1) ANATOMY: The wrist is made up of eight small “carpal” bones that allow the wrist to bend [..]

Why Is Carpal Tunnel So Common?

According to the literature, carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is one of the most prevalent upper extremity complaints. In fact, it IS the most common “compression neuropathy” (of which there are many) and affects 3-6% of adults in the general population. Additionally, CTS can affect BOTH hands in up to 50% of patients with the condition! [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Let’s Get the FACTS! (Part 3)

This month, we will conclude our three-part series on important facts regarding carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS TREATMENT OPTIONS (continued): Aside from the carpal tunnel, there are several places where the median nerve can become compressed as it travels from the neck, down through the shoulder, through tight muscular areas of the upper arm and [..]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Let’s Get the FACTS! (Part 2)

Healthcare providers tend to agree that in non-emergency situations, patients with conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) should try non-surgical treatments before consulting with a surgeon. The “PRICE” concept, that is Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, & Elevate can be applied to most injuries, including CTS, especially in the acute/inflammatory stage. However, many of these principles [..]
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Why Nighttime Pain with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Chiropractors are often asked, “Why does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) bother me so much during the night?” Let’s take a look!

The carpal tunnel is made up of eight small carpal bones that bridge the forearm to the hand. Without these eight little bones, the motion at the wrist would be very restricted and limited to bending a little bit up and a little bit down. Think of all the things you are able to do with a large range of motion at the wrist like tightening a small screw by hand, pulling on a wrench, using a hammer, working under the dash or inside the engine compartment of a car, threading a needle, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and even washing dishes. As you can see, we put our wrists in some pretty strange positions!

Look at the palm-side of your wrist and wiggle your fingers. Do you see all that activity going on? Now, move your eyes slowly towards the elbow as you keep moving your fingers. It is pretty amazing how much movement occurs near the elbow just by moving the fingers! There are actually nine tendons that travel through the carpal tunnel, and these tendons connect your forearm muscles to the fingers. That’s why there is so much movement in the upper half of the forearm when moving your fingers, and in people with CTS, these muscles are usually overworked and super tight. This is why chiropractors work hard to loosen those muscles during treatment! These nine tendons are covered by a sheath, and friction between the tendon and the sheath is reduced by an oily substance called synovial fluid. When we repetitively and rapidly move our fingers, the friction that builds up produces heat, and if the oily synovial fluid can’t keep up, swelling occurs.

Any situation where there is increased swelling in the body can also promote CTS. For example, during pregnancy, hormonal shifts can result in a generalized swelling similar to taking BCP’s (birth control pills). Hypothyroid results in edema or swelling referred to as “myxedema” that can cause or make CTS worse. Some of the inflammatory arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid, lupus, scleroderma, and more can also predispose one to developing CTS. Obesity by itself is a risk factor for similar reasons.

So, why are we so susceptible to CTS symptoms at night? The main reason is that we RARELY sleep with our wrist in a straight or neutral position. We like to curl up in a fetal position and tuck our hands under our chin, bending the wrist to the full extent (90°). By doing so, the pressure inside the wrist “normally” doubles, but in the CTS patient, the pressure can increase by six times! This pinches the median nerve against the ligament that makes up the floor of the tunnel as it travels through the carpal tunnel, which then wakes us up and we find ourselves shaking and flicking our fingers to stop the numb, tingling, burning, pain that commonly occurs with CTS! This is why we prescribe a wrist brace for nighttime use and it REALLY helps! DON’T JUMP TO SURGERY FIRST – TRY CHIROPRACTIC FIRST!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we would be honored to render our services.

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