As tax time approaches, I assume that more people will be either typing on the computer or writing out information pertaining to taxes. Naturally, one of the issues that can occur when the hours we spend using our fingers and hands in that manner is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS is often diagnosed as a problem with the median nerve as it heads through the transverse carpal ligament. Typical treatment of the condition begins with either a cock-up splint and/or an injection of a corticosteroid at the site. If the condition is not resolved, then there is the option of surgery to cut the ligament to release the nerve.
From a chiropractic standpoint, we look at many different things regarding CTS. First and foremost is where the median nerve begins, the cervical spine. If there is a dysfunction in the cervical joints, the information both to and from the brain can be decreased. This doesn’t always, but can manifest as pain in either the neck or as distal as the hand. As well, there may be dysfunction or impingement due to our postures. We sit an enormous amount of time. In fact, as I’m writing this, I am having to spend time in a posture that is not beneficial to my health. And this is a posture that most of us sit in all day. When we sit, we sit with our shoulders rounded, internally rotated, flexed and the shoulders, elbow and hand, allowing us to maintain the ability to type on the computer with ease. If we maintain this posture for an extended time, we have increased our probability of these peripheral nerve issues. The problem with the shots and the surgeries are that they never actually address the cause of what is causing the CTS in the first place. They don’t’ fix the postural abnormalities leading to the condition.
Our goal as practitioners is to address the cause. After a thorough exam, we would work to fix all of the issues, not just give a shot to relieve pain. Using adjustments and soft tissue techniques, we can very successfully not only decrease the pain of CTS, but also give you the tools to fix the problem. As well, when we adjust you in any manner, we improve the function of the brain! The brain controls every cell, tissue, and organ in the body and when it functions better, so does everything else!
Yours in Health,
Dr. James Ashley, DC