Newsletter: Think surgery is the only answer to carpal tunnel? Think again.

Did you know that carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common peripheral nerve condition to affect the human body? The median nerve gets “pinched” in the carpal tunnel area of the wrist and causes tingling and numbness in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger.

Classic symptoms are the feeling of your hand falling asleep, especially at night, and it can even wake you up. Many times you feel like you need to shake your hand to “wake it up.” Sometimes the pain radiates further up into the lower arm area.

The most common misconception about carpal tunnel syndrome is that surgery is the only way to treat or fix it. This may be true for some of the more severe cases, but most mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated without surgical intervention.

According to research, up to 12% of those who have carpal tunnel surgery may require a second surgical procedure. It was also found 25-95% of these patients still experienced persistent symptoms, even after a second surgery. The American Academy of Neurology recommends holding off on surgery until other options are explored.

Traditional medical options for carpal tunnel syndrome follow what I refer to as the “drug it, numb it, cut” approach. First medical doctors will “drug it” with anti-inflammatory medications. If that doesn’t help, they will “numb it” with a cortisone injection to numb pain in the area and reduce inflammation. If that doens’t work, the last step is to “cut it,” meaning surgery to attempt to release the nerve.

There are more options than just these traditional approaches, though. In our office we use chiropractic manipulations, Graston technique, vitamin B6, MLS laser therapy and specific braces to treat and heal carpal tunnel symptoms naturally and without invasive procedures. We will explain each of these options in more detail later this month.

We encourage you to approach any health condition with the safest and most conservative options first. These options are likely to help and can many times avoid treatments that are more risky and invasive. We agree there are times when more risky and invasive approaches are necessary, but feel it best to start conservative and work up from there. We are all about offering conservative, non-drug, non-surgical options.

Dr. Kyle’s training as a board-certified chiropractic orthopedist helps him to make the correct diagnosis and then to offer the best possible conservative treatment options for symptom relief and to fix the underlying cause of your health conditions. Reach out – we are here to help.

Kyle J. Pankonin, D.C.