Health & Wellness: Carpal Tunnel syndrome symptoms and how to deal with them

The use of our hands in daily activities requires harmony between muscles, nerves, bones and more. Ideally our grip closes with confidence in a handshake and also speedily opens if the pot we grabbed off the stove was too hot. For the majority of us, being able to master our environment with our fingers, thumbs and palms is done without second thought. Hopefully you will not have that experience which my patients have described as “not being able to trust their own hands” or “finding once easy tasks to be daunting.”
Carpal Tunnel syndrome can be a pesky and painful problem but also a debilitating circumstance that stands in the way of a greater quality of life. It continues to be a great pleasure of mine to see patients gain both relief from such pain, along with confidence that the cause of the problem has finally been addressed. At Pivotal Health Systems, the only bandaids we have to offer are in our first aid kit. The work done with our patients is geared towards the cause of the issue, be it carpal tunnel, lower back pain, neck pain, headaches etc. I consider my degree not only to stand for Doctor of Chiropractic, but also Doctor of Cause.
The walls, floor, and ceiling of the carpal tunnel are vulnerable to misalignment, imbalance and inflammation. Changes in sensation in the thumb, first two fingers, and part of the third finger can occur if the integrity of the carpal tunnel is lost. Dysfunctional, and even painful, movement of the thumb is a sign that the wrist is under undue stress. Every joint in the body that allows for great movement also comes with a higher propensity for imbalance and injury.
This phenomenon is due to the high degree of complexity necessary to move such mobile joints as the wrist, shoulder, hips, and ankles. The more complex a joint is, the more that can potentially go wrong. Look forward to other articles to be written on the nature of the balance and stability of other joints in the body.
Lets consider the architecture, or anatomy, of the carpal tunnel. Above is the tranverse ligament, a thin yet strong connective tissue and two sets of muscle, the thenar (thumb sided) and hypothenar (little finger sided) muscles. On either side of and below the contents of the tunnel are carpal (from the Greek karpos for wrist) bones.
The contents of the tunnel include tendons, which serve as anchors for muscle into bones, which allow the leverage of our fingers at will and a protective bursa. You would also find the Median Nerve, which acts as an information highway between the hand and the Central Nervous System, or the spinal cord and brain. Function of the nerve, as demonstrated by the technique of Applied Kinesiology and its primary tool of muscle testing, and obvious tenderness in the area of the wrist has been regularly improved in just one visit.
Considering how frequently hands and wrists are used in the daily activities of cooking, cleaning, typing, and driving, let alone the more demanding actions of those who work in salons, in construction, or at a computer for a living, it should be no surprise that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not going anywhere. Fortunately there is a relatively inexpensive, drug free, non-surgical, and effective means to invest in the health of your wrists. If you choose not to be a patient at Pivotal Health Systems, then I do encourage you to speak to your chiropractor about wrist adjustments and what can be done to realign one of the most used joints in the body.
As a chiropractor I have an innate fascination with the alignment of bones, from the base of the skull to the tailbone, from the hips to the toes and the shoulder down to the fingers. The premise of my work is that there is such a thing as ideal alignment of all the joints of the body, and that once alignment is restored the body will heal, and eventually feel, better.
Just as important as alignment is balance, in so far that after an adjustment, or a therapeutic force skillfully given by hand, the muscles which govern the movement and stability of the joint in question do not procure misalignment again. Alignment and balance are values held by many professions, ie architects, carpenters, mechanics, and engineers.
A car with misaligned and imbalanced tires will do you as much good as a misaligned and imbalanced wrist. Patients who come in for maintenance, typically monthly visits, will regularly have their wrists adjusted to keep any pockets of stress from accumulating. Much like a gardener tending the weeds do I seek to nip any problems in the bud before they grow to be an annoyance.