You won’t find the carpal tunnel on any map-it’s in your wrist. Your carpal (wrist) bones form a tunnel-like structure-the carpal tunnel-through which pass tendons and the median nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the occupational disease of the 21st century. Sufferers experience tingling and numbness in the hands, fingers and wrists; blanching (whitening upon pressure) of the hand; pain so intense that it awakens you at night and more. (1-2)
Who gets CTS?
Years ago, telegraph operators, seamstresses, carpenters and meat cutters were the CTS sufferers. Today office workers, computer operators, musicians and assembly line workers are more prone to it.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
A similar condition is thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS affects the nerves in the upper back as they exit the neck. The symptoms include pain, weakness and numbness or tingling in the arm. (3)
The Medical and Chiropractic Approaches
The medical approach to persistent symptoms may include corticosteroid injections or surgery. For over a hundred years, however, Doctors of Chiropractic have been adjusting people’s spines to release stress from their nervous systems. Clinicians, researchers and patients have reported relief of classic carpal tunnel symptoms and improvement in overall body function after chiropractic adjustments. (4-5)
- Davis L, Wellman H, Punnett L. Surveillance of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome in Massachusetts, 1992-1997: a report from the Massachusetts sentinel event notification system for occupational risks (SENSOR). Am J Ind Med. 2001;39(1):58-71.
- Verghese J, Galanopoulou AS, Herskovitz S. Autonomic dysfunction in idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome. Muscle Nerve. 2000;23(8):1209-1213.
- Narakas AO. The role of thoracic outlet syndrome in the double crush syndrome. Annales de Chirurgie de la Main et du Membre Superieur. 1990;9(5):331-340.
- Bonebrake AR et al. A treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome: evaluation of objective and subjective measures. JMPT. 1990;13:507-520.
- Davis PT, Hulbert JR, Kassak KM et al. Comparative efficacy of conservative medical and chiropractic treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized clinical trial. JMPT. 1998;21(5):317-326.