Back to

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Click on images to enlarge
Carpal tunnel
Wrist section

Symptoms of pins and needles, swelling in the fingers may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the result of the compression of the median nerve in an anatomical tunnel at the base of the wrist.
The compression may be caused by tendonitis, tinosynovitis or water retention. The problem is very common during pregnancy, and is often related to puffiness and water retention. When it is a consequence of pregnancy, it often resolves without treatment after delivery. There are however many chiropractic techniques to help women before delivery.   Many cases of carpal tunnel are caused by working habits with repeated wrist flexion, and made even worse when the fingers are held in a tight fist.

Symptoms

  • Pins and needles in all the fingers except for the little finger.
  • Worsening of symptoms during rest, after work and at night.
  • Weakness of the thumb when pinching.
  • Symptoms may disappear if the hands are shaken or rubbed together.

Characteristics

  • Commonest in females
  • Most prevalent in the 30-50 yr age group
  • Dominant hand most often affected
  • 50% of cases have both hands affected
  • Pain is often felt in the forearm
  • Highly associated with continuous keyboard work
  • Associated with poor posture or inattention to ergonomics at work.

Other disorders which can give similar symptoms:

Arthritis of the neck, cervical disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, excess muscle tension in the neck, cervical ribs, thoracic outlet syndrome, poor posture, vascular problems, neuropathies, tendonitis, and epicondilitis.

Double Crush Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome very often involves compression or irritation of the median nerve at more than one place, i.e. not just in the wrist. Various neck conditions can irritate the nerve roots before the nerve reaches the wrist. There are also other areas between the cervical spine and the wrist which can irritate the nerve along its path, making it weaker and more susceptible to damage at the wrist tunnel.

The Chiropractic Approach

After taking a full case history, we will carry out a variety of orthopedic and chiropractic tests, on the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck and vertebral column so as to establish the original cause or causes of your symptoms. Your chiropractic treatment will concentrate on all the areas involved. This normally includes the spine and the hands and wrists.
In our practice we have obtained excellent results in very few treatments, often giving considerable relief after a single treatment. Unfortunately, due to lack of information, many patients come to us in desperation as a last resort and after having consulted many other specialists. This means often having had weeks of sleepless nights, as well as worrying that the only solution to this problem is surgery. Some of our patients were unable to undertake surgery for other health reasons, but their general practitioner’s did not realize that we as chiropractors could treat this condition successfully. It is advisable in fact, to try a course of chiropractic treatment, before resorting to surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. You may find, like so many our patients have already found, that the surgery is not needed anymore.