Are you getting numbness, tingling, weakness or pain at your wrist/hand after repetitive activity such as typing, writing, scrubbing, using a screwdriver/hammer or even driving? If so, there is a strong possibility that you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
What is CTS and can anything be done to help it or prevent it from happening? In order to understand this, I need to give you a VERY basic overview in wrist anatomy. Don’t worry, you will not be tested on this!
Carpal tunnel refers to 2 rows of 4 bones that are shaped in a “U” form. The palm side of the wrist has very strong fibrous tissue that forms a passageway tunnel for the nerves, tendons, and blood vessels to go through.
Ideally, there is plenty of space within this tunnel for these tissues to go through. However, with repetitive activity, an instability can occur within the wrist and stress this tunnel. Over time, the tunnel “collapses” and pinches the various structures that go through the tunnel thus giving rise to your painful symptoms.
You may think that the cause of your CTS is coming only from a nerve pinch in the wrist. It is easy to understand why you may feel this way because that is where you feel the pain. However, since this nerve starts in the neck and goes down to the wrist by passing through the neck, chest, upper and lower arm muscles before entering the wrist, an impingement anywhere along this route can create symptoms of CTS.
At this office, we use a variety of treatment modalities such as cold laser therapy, muscle/joint balancing, nutrition, specific stretching/strengthening exercises to address any and all nerve impingement along its full pathway.
By addressing your CTS from this broader perspective it is possible to help you with this condition so you can go back to doing what you love to do.
In the meantime, have fun and keep on learning!
Your trusted advisor, Zeya Alikhan DC