Posts Tagged ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Natural Treatment Options

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition characterized by pain, numbness and/or tingling in the hand. This includes the palm and the 2nd, 3rd, and half of the 4th finger, usually sparing the thumb. Another indication of CTS is weakness in grip strength such as difficulty opening a jar to even holding a coffee cup. CTS can occur from many different causes, the most common being repetitive motion injuries such as assembly line or typing/computing work. Here is a PARTIAL list of potential causes of CTS: heredity (a small sized tunnel), aging (>50 years old), rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, hypothyroid, birth control pill use, trauma to the wrist (especially colles fractures), diabetes mellitus, acromegaly, the use of corticosteroids, tumors (benign or malignant), obesity (BMI>29 are 2.5 more likely), double crush (pinching of the nerve in more than 1 place such as the neck and the carpal tunnel), heterozygous mutations in a gene (associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth), Parvovirus b19, and others. Again, repetitive trauma is still the most common cause. It becomes quite clear that a COMPLETE physical examination must be conducted, not just evaluation of the wrist! Once the cause(s) of CTS has been nailed down, then treatment options can be considered.

From a treatment perspective, we’ve previously discussed what chiropractors typically do for CTS (spinal and extremity joint manipulation, muscle/soft tissue mobilization, physical therapy modalities such as laser, the use of a wrist splint – especially at night, work task modifications, wrist/hand/arm/neck exercises, vitamin B6, and more). But, what about using other “alternative” or non-medical approaches, especially those that can be done with chiropractic treatment? Here is a list of four alternative or complementary treatment options:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Goals: Reducing systemic inflammation reduces overall pressure on the median nerve that travels through the limited space within the carpal tunnel at the wrist. An “anti-inflammatory diet” such a Mediterranean diet, gluten-free diet, paleo-diet (also referred to as the caveman diet) can also help. Herbs that can helps include arnica, bromelain, white willow bark, curcumen, ginger, turmeric, boswellia, and vitamins such as bioflavinoids, Vitamin B6 (and other B vitamins such as B1 and B12), vitamin C, and also omega 3 fatty acids.
  2. Acupuncture: Inserting very thin needles into specific acupuncture points both near the wrist and further away can unblock energy channels (called meridians), improve energy flow, release natural pain reducing chemicals (endorphins and enkephlins), promote circulation and balance the nervous system. For CTS, the acupuncture points are located on the wrist, arm, thumb, hand, neck, upper back and leg. The number of sessions varies, dependant on how long the CTS has been present, the person’s overall health, and the severity of CTS.
  3. Laser acupuncture: The use of a low level (or “cold” laser) or a class IV pulsed laser over the same acupuncture points as mentioned above can have very similar beneficial effects (without needles)! One particular study of 36 subjects with CTS for an average of 24 months included 14 patients who had 1-2 prior surgeries for CTS with poor post-surgical results. Even in that group, improvement was reported after 3 laser treatments per week for 4-5 weeks! In total, 33 of the 36 subjects reported 50-100% relief. These benefits were reportedly long-term as follow-up at 1-2 years later showed only 2 out of 23 subjects had pain that returned and subsequent laser treatment was again successful within several weeks.
  4. Acupressure: Acupuncture point stimulation with manual pressure. These points can be self-stimulated by the CTS sufferer multiple times a day via deep rubbing techniques.

We realize you have a choice in who 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 require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – MD vs. DC. Whom Should I See?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very common problem affecting a large population (1 out of 20 in the general population) including typists, assembly line workers, postal employees, secretaries, servers/waiters, musicians, carpenters, and many others. CTS drives a high level of cost to the health care system between time lost from work, treatment costs, and short and long term disability payments (on average $30,000 per claim, and this is an old stat!). Continued CTS signs and symptoms can persist long after surgical treatment and the question that typically arises when this happens is “…why?” Let’s take a look at reasons for failed treatment of CTS…

The classic non-surgical medical management model for treating CTS includes non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen), rest, and the use of nocturnal (night time) wrist splints. This approach works in some cases, but in the majority, it is unsuccessful and leads to the next medical management step: surgery.

The classic chiropractic management model for treating CTS includes similar initial treatment approaches including anti-inflammatory measures, rest, and night wrist splints. One anti-inflammatory measure is ice massage or cupping, where the ice is rubbed directly on the skin until numbness is achieved (this usually takes about 4 minutes). Prior to numbness, there will be a burning and aching often described as intense, “…like a brain-freeze when I drink a slushy too fast.” The ice cup approach can be repeated several times a day. Other anti-inflammatory measures may include the use of herbal anti-inflammatory nutrients such as ginger, tumeric, boswellia, bioflavinoids, and/or the use of digestive enzymes taken between meals to help reduce the inflammation. The “rest” component is also shared by both models as is the use of the night wrist splint. So, what makes the chiropractic model different?

The nerve affected in CTS is called the median nerve. It arises initially from the nerves in the neck, specifically, C6-8 and T1 nerve roots which are part of the brachial plexus. These form into one nerve (the median nerve) which travels through small openings, first at the neck followed by the shoulder (called the thoracic outlet), then into the arm through a muscle at the elbow (pronator tunnel), and finally through the carpal tunnel at the wrist to innervate the hand including the palm and the 2nd, 3rd digits and thumb side of the 4th finger. The median nerve can get “crushed” in more than one tunnel and treatment must address the WHOLE nerve, not just at the carpal tunnel / wrist. This chiropractic management of CTS helps many patients because the nerve along its entire course including the neck, shoulder, and elbow is treated, not just the wrist!

We realize you have a choice in who 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 require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Carpal Tunnel – Natural Treatment Options

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition characterized by pain, numbness and/or tingling in the hand. This includes the palm and the 2nd, 3rd, and half of the 4th finger, usually sparing the thumb. Another indication of CTS is weakness in grip strength such as difficulty opening a jar to even holding a coffee cup. CTS can occur from many different causes, the most common being repetitive motion injuries such as assembly line or typing/computing work. Here is a PARTIAL list of potential causes of CTS: heredity (a small sized tunnel), aging (>50 years old), rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, hypothyroid, birth control pill use, trauma to the wrist (especially colles fractures), diabetes mellitus, acromegaly, the use of corticosteroids, tumors (benign or malignant), obesity (BMI>29 are 2.5 more likely), double crush (pinching of the nerve in more than 1 place such as the neck and the carpal tunnel), heterozygous mutations in a gene (associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth), Parvovirus b19, and others. Again, repetitive trauma is still the most common cause. It becomes quite clear that a COMPLETE physical examination must be conducted, not just evaluation of the wrist! Once the cause(s) of CTS has been nailed down, then treatment options can be considered.

From a treatment perspective, we’ve previously discussed what chiropractors typically do for CTS (spinal and extremity joint manipulation, muscle/soft tissue mobilization, physical therapy modalities such as laser, the use of a wrist splint – especially at night, work task modifications, wrist/hand/arm/neck exercises, vitamin B6, and more). But, what about using other “alternative” or non-medical approaches, especially those that can be done with chiropractic treatment? Here is a list of four alternative or complementary treatment options:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Goals: Reducing systemic inflammation reduces overall pressure on the median nerve that travels through the limited space within the carpal tunnel at the wrist. An “anti-inflammatory diet” such a Mediterranean diet, gluten-free diet, paleo-diet (also referred to as the caveman diet) can also help. Herbs that can helps include arnica, bromelain, white willow bark, curcumen, ginger, turmeric, boswellia, and vitamins such as bioflavinoids, Vitamin B6 (and other B vitamins such as B1 and B12), vitamin C, and also omega 3 fatty acids.
  2. Acupuncture: Inserting very thin needles into specific acupuncture points both near the wrist and further away can unblock energy channels (called meridians), improve energy flow, release natural pain reducing chemicals (endorphins and enkephlins), promote circulation and balance the nervous system. For CTS, the acupuncture points are located on the wrist, arm, thumb, hand, neck, upper back and leg. The number of sessions varies, dependant on how long the CTS has been present, the person’s overall health, and the severity of CTS.
  3. Laser acupuncture: The use of a low level (or “cold” laser) or a class IV pulsed laser over the same acupuncture points as mentioned above can have very similar beneficial effects (without needles)! One particular study of 36 subjects with CTS for an average of 24 months included 14 patients who had 1-2 prior surgeries for CTS with poor post-surgical results. Even in that group, improvement was reported after 3 laser treatments per week for 4-5 weeks! In total, 33 of the 36 subjects reported 50-100% relief. These benefits were reportedly long-term as follow-up at 1-2 years later showed only 2 out of 23 subjects had pain that returned and subsequent laser treatment was again successful within several weeks.
  4. Acupressure: Acupuncture point stimulation with manual pressure. These points can be self-stimulated by the CTS sufferer multiple times a day via deep rubbing techniques.

We realize you have a choice in who 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 require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our services.

Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Options For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

Do you feel numbness and tingling in your hand? This could be one of the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and nine tendons that bend your fingers. Pressure placed on the nerve produces the numbness, pain, and eventually hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some of the most common symptoms seen with CTS are: tingling or numbness in your hand, pain radiating up your arm or down into your fingers, weakness in your hands, and a tendency to drop objects. If you have been experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel and you do repetitive tasks with your hands, occupations such as computer operators, typists, packers, or assembly line workers, you should seek medical attention as early as possible so that the condition can be corrected quickly.
Your chiropractor has several techniques that can treat the many causes of numbness and tingling in your hands.  Such treatment could include physiotherapy, flexibility exercises and adjustments. Physiotherapy treatment is usually based towards restoring strength and flexibility and improving blood flow. Adjustments are helpful if the misalignment of bones are causing nerve pressure.
Some of the recommended things you can do to reduce the numbness in your hands include: take a 15 second break every 5 minutes when you are doing repetitive task, take medication to help relieve the swelling, and use the Powerball Gyroscope, a rehabilitation device that takes your wrist through the actual ranges of its motion while simultaneously adding resistance. Massaging and stretching the forearm flexor muscles will also help reduce the painful joints.
Symptoms of numbness in your fingers can be early signal of developing the CTS. If you continue to experience pain, numbness and tingling to the hand, despite wearing a wrist brace at night, stretching the forearm muscles and modified your computer station, perhaps it is time to consult with a chiropractor who specializes in soft tissue treatment such as Active Release Technique. It is a good idea to find a more natural, non-invasive treatment option to heal your carpal tunnel syndrome before considering surgery. For relief of your carpal tunnel syndrome in San Diego, CA visit, www.BackCareTreatment.com so that you can get back to living a pain-free, vibrant, healthy lifestyle right away.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome May Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Your Wrist!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) maybe one of the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions in modern medicine. It’s a crying shame because countless carpal tunnel victims could end their pain and suffering…almost overnight…if they only knew what I’m about to reveal to you.

I’m serious. If you’re suffering with CTS, what you’re about to discover can literally give you your life back. If you know anyone battling carpal tunnel, give them this newsletter. You may be responsible for changing their life. So, without any further adieu, let’s jump right into it. Here are the facts: The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that carpal tunnel syndrome is a “chief occupational hazard – disabling workers in epidemic proportions.” Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects over 8 – million Americans.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 reported medical problem, accounting for about 50% of all work related injuries. Only 25% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery. Up to 36% of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients require unlimited medical treatment. Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the second most common type of surgery, with well over 230,000 procedures performed annually.

I don’t know about you, but reading those statistics tells me something is wrong…radically wrong…with the “accepted” methods of treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out surgery is NOT the way to go when 230,000 are being performed each year and only 25% are able to return to their previous jobs. And returning to work does NOT mean pain-free. I wonder how many of that 25% were actually pain free? Add in the inherent risks of all surgeries (like the ones that go horribly wrong) and your option of going under the knife starts looking like a DISTANT last resort. NOT a valid first option.

So, What Other Options Do You Have? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has traditionally been defined as an entrapment of the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel of your wrist. The floor of the carpal tunnel is made of eight carpal…or…“wrist” bones. They are odd shaped and fit together kind of like a puzzle. Ligaments (which are like fishing line) help hold the bones together. The roof of the tunnel is a ligament – the transverse carpal ligament – that stretches from one side of the tunnel to the other. The space that is formed between the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament is about the size of your pinky. A bunch of “things” pass through that small space, including: nine flexor tendons (tendons attach muscle to bone), blood vessels and ONE nerve, the median nerve, which is the primary nerve to your hand.

The traditional definition of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is compression of the median nerve as it passes through that tunnel. Nerves are like tiny wires that transmit electrical impulses from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Every time you want to move your hand, your brain sends electrical impulses down the median nerve to the muscles in your hand, causing them to contract. Nerves are VERY sensitive and can easily get “pinched” or “compressed.” If the median nerve gets pinched or compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel — it causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is commonly thought that an injury or repetitive stress to the wrist can cause such an injury.

Here’s the problem with all that: there is another condition that causes the exact same symptoms as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that has little or nothing to do with the wrist! This condition is called Double Crush Syndrome and here’s how it works: There are many sites that can compress a nerve as it goes from your brain and spinal cord to your wrist. Simply put, Double Crush Syndrome occurs when you have multiple compression sites.

More importantly, a compression site closer to the spinal cord (closer to your neck) and brain makes it much easier for a nerve to be compressed elsewhere…like the wrist. In plain English…You Would NOT Have Carpal Tunnel Symptoms If You Only Had Compression In Your Wrist. It Is The COMBINATION Of The Compression Sites That Causes The Problem!!! So, in most case, if you remove the entrapment or compression that is closer to the spine (neck), many, if notall, of your symptoms will go away without ever touching the wrist!!!

The most common sites of compression or entrapment are – - a muscle in your forearm called the pronator teres, the thoracic outlet (by your shoulder), and your neck. The most common place seems to be as the nerve exits your spine in your neck. Is There A Solution? That’s why specific Chiropractic care can work wonders for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome when all else has failed. By gently restoring function of your neck via chiropractic care, compression on the nerve can be relieved… eliminating Double Crush Syndrome… the TRUE cause of your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A complete Chiropractic evaluation can also detect if your carpal tunnel symptoms are coming from one of theother compression/entrapment sites like your forearm, shoulder or wrist…and work on those areas as well. The important thing to remember is you must be evaluated by a doctor that understands Double Crush Syndrome and evaluate you for all the possible compression sites and fix them properly. A hand specialist may completely overlook the REAL cause of your problem…Double Crush Syndrome. If you are suffering with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), be sure your doctor has thoroughly examined you to determine if your CTS is due to Double Crush Syndrome. A proper examination for CTS would include the entire arm and neck in order to trace the full length of the nerve. Since the neck is the most common site for a Double Crush to occur, a consultation with a cervical spine specialist (Chiropractor) would be in your best interests, especially if you’ve been recommended for carpal tunnel surgery. Only by identifying the true cause can your doctor accurately treat and relieve your condition.

cts tx in San Diego

Carpal tunnel treatment in San Diego

Could Improper Computer Use Be The Cause Of Your Back Pain?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Chiropractors in San Diego are revealing how computer use may be the cause of your back pain. Computers can be a great tool. You can investigate the complete cheapest cost on a new Iphone, take a practical visit of a resort halfway crosswise the country or keep in touch with far-away relatives all with the snap of a button. The power of computers is only getting superior and better. And the more authoritative they get, they more time we use with them, for labor and for enjoyment. I mean, is there really any place in your life you don’t use a processor in some way?

While computer systems can make renewing over library books or filling your tax returns easy, there is one large problem. Regrettably, our body was not intended to sit in a chair with our hands propped up while we stare at a shining screen. Extended time at the keyboard can give rise to some rather malicious ailments and injury.

Low back ache is a very common ailment that occurs from central processing unit use. Using the incorrect type of chair at the mainframe is usually the culprit here – either that or not taking the time to correctly adjusts it. If you have unfortunate position when sitting this can also create an uneven distribution of weight on your spine, which leads to soreness. Another reason is an inappropriately configured desk setup. For example, do you find yourself leaning and stretching without cause as you labor?

Do you find yourself repeatedly looking up and down referencing a document when you’re at the computer? If so this may be the cause of your pain. Shoulder and neck pain can be another problem. Another killer when it comes to shoulder and neck pain is using a phone wedged into the side of your neck. Spend the couple of bucks on a hands-free headset – its well worth it!

How about hurting knees and buttocks? Believe it or not, the most common cause of hurting knees and buttocks here is just sitting on your butt way too long! Your body doesn’t like that position. If you specifically suffer from knee pain, it’s usually causes by sitting in a chair that is too high, which leaves your feet dangling and unsupported. Poor lumbar support can make the problem even worse.

The position of your mouse and computer chair also plays a critical factor. Monitor glare is the enemy for eye strain. Whether it’s artificial light or sunlight being reflected off your monitor screen, glare can cause some serious pain. Try rearranging your workspace if you regularly experience eye strain. Where do you rest your wrists when you type? Resting your wrists on a hard or uncomfortable edge can definitely be the cause of hand pain.

So how do you overcome computer soreness? One of the simplest and greatest actions is to just take regular breaks during the day. This certainly sounds easy, but it works like a charm. Let’s face it – when most of us get sucked into our computer, we don’t pay any awareness how our body feels. Take a little stretch or stroll and take your eyes off the screen. It doesn’t have to be an extended break – five minutes every hour should work wonders.

As you probably already know, chiropractic isn’t just about relieving the pain you have now, it’s about eliminating any of your future pain too! During your next chiropractic visit, please be sure to let your chiropractor know if you find yourself experiencing any of the computer related pain we spoke about here. Even if it’s not serious pain – by letting your chiropractor know about it, they can make sure it never gets serious.