Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.Early detection and treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is important for this debilitating syndrome, and yet some of the early symptoms are subtle and can be easily mistaken for other issues.
The first symptom people usually notice is that their hand and fingers become numb and tingling while they are sleeping causing them to wake up frequently during the night. Most people do not even realize that this is a symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and attribute the numb feeling to sleeping on their hands in an awkward position, cutting off blood circulation. Routine Sleep interruption from any cause has serious health implications and should be addressed with a strong sense of urgency.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
- Sleep interruption from numb hands, tingling fingers, wrist pain
- Hand Pain and or Wrist Pain
- Pain Radiating up the Forearm
- Cold Hands - Forearms warm
- Loss of Feeling Sensation in Fingers & Thumb
- Numbness in Fingers or Tingling - Index, Middle & Ring Finger
- Loss of fine motor skills in hands - Clumsiness in Hands
- Weakness in Hand and Wrist - loss of hand muscles
- Poor Circulation, Hands falling asleep
- Loss of Hand Grip Strength
- Dropping Objects - Forks - Glasses - Pen - etc.
- Numbness in Thumb
- Aching Shoulders and Neck
The nervous system is always involved with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. That means the problem can also begin where the nerves start, the cervical spine (neck.) Entrapment of nerves can occur where the nerves exit the spine by bones and soft tissue. The nerves form a bundle called the Brachial Plexus. This bundle can be entrapped by muscles on the front of the neck. As you follow the nerves out further they can be entrapped at the shoulder and even into the elbow. All of these entrapment areas can produce CTS symptoms.
Non-Surgical Carpal Tunnel Treatment
One Patient's Story:
What is involved in a comprehensive evaluation?
Effective carpal tunnel treatment starts with a proper evaluation to determine where the problem starts and ends. The starting point for your nerves is at the neck/upper back, followed by the shoulder and finally forearm/wrist. Examining how the bones move and the condition of the soft tissue is key in this vital area. This continues in proper examination of the front portion of your shoulder, elbow and forearm. In many cases more than one area produces the symptoms. This means that all areas associated with nerve irritation must be treated to get a full resolution of CTS.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment involves manipulation of the joints which include the neck, upper back, shoulder, elbow and wrist. Soft tissue therapies to the muscles of these regions are also applied like myofascial release, trigger point therapy and various other soft tissue techniques. A number of practitioners perform these therapies, but all need to be utilized. It can sometimes be hard to find a practitioner that does all of the therapies, but this is what it takes to get the results like the ones I get with my patients.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by various issues from pregnancy to working out. CTS is often associated with repetitive strain injury. This happens from repeated typing, mousing, lifting, and any task that requires the same motion done over and over and over. Repetitive strain does not always involve motion; it can also result from holding a position for long periods of time. These positions include holding your head forward from looking at a computer screen, reaching out for your keyboard/mouse and sitting with poor, rounded shoulders.
It can also be caused by poor posture, loss of flexibility, sports and lack of neck and shoulder support while sleeping. These areas are where you can get the most resolution to CTS symptoms, yet are the most overlooked regions.
Is this type of care for you?
If you are asking this question, then it is for you. The proper approach to healthcare should be natural and non-invasive as your first steps. If you find these therapies are not working then you need to utilize more invasive procedures like surgery. This should be the final choice! The bottom line is you have to give yourself a chance to heal on your own. You have to find good practitioners who know how to address CTS and then work on improving your health with 150% effort.
Why do other practitioners not get the same results?
The human body works as one unit. We are not a car, where you can replace one part and everything is fixed. The human body needs to work in concert with all tissues of the body to produce correct movement and relaxation of the tissues. Correctly identifying and addressing all the specific global factors is what produces the results. Some practitioners may only address the neck, others may only address the forearm. So they are missing the other areas that are contributing to the problem, never fully resolving the issue. So you end of feeling slightly better, but then a couple days later the problem returns.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Roskosky call (202)237-7000.