21 May Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when pressure (fluid, bone, or tight tendons) compresses the nerve within the carpal tunnel of the wrist.
This initially leads to numbness in the thumb and first two fingers, and wrist pain. Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm and the fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Some carpal tunnel sufferers say their fingers feel useless and swollen even though little to no swelling is apparent. The symptoms often first appear during the night in the hands since many people sleep with flexed wrists. However, a number of factors have been associated with increasing the likelihood of experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Women are 3 times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
- The dominant hand is usually affected first and produces the most severe pain.
- A person with diabetes or other metabolic disorders that directly affect the body’s nerves and make them more susceptible to compression are at higher risk.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also not just confined to people with certain jobs (manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, or shipment packing, etc.), however, those jobs do act as a catalyst to develop carpal tunnel sooner.
Carpal tunnel syndrome begins with the median nerve in your neck called the Brachial Plexus, located at the lower level of your neck. The nerve then passes through a strong muscle called the Scalenes. Every time you flex and rotate your neck, you are contracting these muscles. When these Scalenes muscles are tight, it puts pressure on the median nerve. There also is a muscle in the chest called Pectoralis Minor. This muscle helps to raise the arm over the head by pulling the coracoid process. This movement puts pressure onto the median nerve and arteries that bring blood to your arms. When someone sleeps with their elbow tucked under the head, it puts pressure on the nerve and artery for long hours, which results in numbness and tingling in your hand. Median nerve travels under the biceps and then goes into the forearm. However, tight muscles around your forearm (flexor muscles and tendons) entrap the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Anyone suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome should see a chiropractor to ensure that their nerves along their spinal column, arms, wrists, neck, and upper back are free from nerve pressure.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been associated with pyridoxine (B6) deficiency. Proponents recommend 200 mg daily for 6 weeks.
People who are suffering from carpal tunnel usually only focus on their wrists. Some people apply heat or ice, take medications, etc. However, if you don’t physically fix the cause, the problem will not be solved. If you are currently suffering from carpal tunnel symptoms, discuss your symptoms with a primary doctor or chiropractor!
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