Did you know carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve entrapment condition in the upper extremity? The nerve affected is called the median nerve. It starts in the neck and goes down the arm to the first four fingers. The most common area the nerve gets entrapped is at an area of the wrist called the carpal tunnel. However, the median nerve can also get entrapped in a muscle by the elbow called the pronator teres. Also, the nerve can become pinched in the neck.
Some patients are told they have carpal tunnel syndrome, but the nerve is actually entrapped in the elbow or neck. When the nerve becomes entrapped in more than one location it is called a double crush syndrome. It is important to be examined by a doctor with specific training in musculoskeletal medicine to find a proper diagnosis. Common symptoms are burning, tingling and numbness in the first four fingers. Many patients report their hand(s) fall asleep at night which wakes them from sleep and causes them to need to shake their hand(s) to “wake them up”. People with hypothyroidism and diabetes are more prone to getting this condition. People who do a lot of repetitive motions with the arm or hand are frequently affected by this condition.
The medical approach is to prescribe wrist braces and anti-inflammatory medication. If this doesn’t provide adequate relief then an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon will be set up. The non-drug and non-surgical approaches are to use deep tissue robotic laser therapy to the carpal tunnel area, Graston technique over the affected areas at the elbow and wrist, and a supplement called Nerve Renew.
We use these non-drug and non-surgical approaches at our clinic with a more than 80% success rate. Sometimes gentle chiropractic manipulation to the wrist, elbow or neck is applied depending on the condition. Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can be effectively treated without drugs or surgery. It is a condition that many people just live with until it gets so bad surgery is required. Don’t wait that long. The take-home message is excellent non-surgical treatment is available. Check out all the drop down menu options under the MLS Laser tab at the top of this website to learn more.