Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating disorder caused by irritation or pressure to the median nerve. The median nerve originates in the neck, runs through the shoulder, arm and forearm into the wrist and hand. It is one of the major nerves in the hand that provides sensation and movement for the thumb, index and middle fingers. CTS often is described as an aching pain with burning, tingling and numbness in the wrist or hand and, occasionally, in the forearm. In some cases, muscle weakness, swelling and loss of temperature sensation may be present. Patients may begin to drop objects or have difficulty lifting small items or turning doorknobs. It is thought that jobs that require workers to use their hands, wrists, or arms in a repetitive manner tend to have a higher incidence of CTS. But renowned hand surgeon Dr. Charles Eaton says there is no scientific evidence that shows such activities actually cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
CTS & The Cervical Spine
Problems in the neck or cervical spine can be as simple as poor posture and muscle tension, or as serious as disc bulges, arthritis, or spinal misalignments, also referred to as subluxations. A proper evaluation for CTS should include an exam of the entire length of the median nerve, starting at the neck and working down to the hands, wrists and fingers. Since the neck is the most common site for Double Crush to occur, a consultation with an upper cervical doctor would be in the best interests of any CTS sufferer, especially if they have been recommended for carpal tunnel surgery. The purpose of upper cervical care is to correct misalignments in the neck that produce irritation to the nerve roots that extends to the wrist, hands and fingers. Clinical findings have discovered that this can prevent the need for surgery.