Firstly! What is The Carpal Tunnel?
The carpal tunnel is a passageway of ligament and bones located in the wrist that holds the median nerve. One function of this nerve is to connect the palm and fingers.The Median Nerve
The median nerve is a major nerve of the upper limb, it originates from the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm.
These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. The median nerve is the only nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel Syndrome is a very painful and aggravating condition that reduces range of movement to the wrist and hand. This disability results from an inflamed median nerve being compressed in the carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is known as a “double crush” injury. Meaning that the median nerve may be compressed in 2 separate places. One part of the nerve is being compressed at the wrist (in the carpel tunnel) and the other compression occurs in the neck.
These pinched nerves, in combination with other physiological stressors may lead to a muscle ratio imbalance in the upper and lower forearm (flexors & extensors).
This imbalance leads to inflammation of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Resulting in “carpal tunnel syndrome”.
5 Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is mainly thought of as an overuse injury caused by repetitive motion such as prolonged typing. Although there are other factors for consideration, such as:
- Neuropathy (dysfunction of the peripheral nerves) which is a complication of diabetes; rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.. Why You Must Deal with the Cause!. This misalignment can cause swelling in the nerves responsible for carrying sensory impulses from the wrist and hand.
- Years of extreme tension such as, gripping, twisting, pushing & pulling.
- Metabolic syndrome; which is defined by someone having 3 or more combined conditions. These include; obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance & low HDL cholesterol.
6 Common Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Pain & throbbing in the arm, wrist or hand. Worsening in the thumb, index and middle fingers, also felt in the inner half the ring finger.
- Difficulty of motion of the hand & arm.
- Tingling & numbness.
- Weakness and shaking in the muscles of the hand.
- Difficulty gripping or carrying objects & driving.
- Symptoms generally get worse as time goes by, especially at night, where the pain may cause sufferers to wake.
Surgery Does not Deal with the Cause
This “Syndrome” has become a general topic of conversation; everywhere I go someone is talking about it or suffers from it. I know many people who have had the operation (with very mixed results).
Its seems that everyone has been lead to believe that surgery is the only option. It’s actually alarming that this is the only solution that modern medicine provides sufferers.
Unfortunately, as with most conventional treatments, this operation is a quick fix that does not address the cause.
It also comes with risk, is expensive, inconvenient and also mostly ineffective long term. This, along with the bracing and the medications often make the situation worse.
Chances are, over time it will comes back and may come back worse. But most won’t tell you this (even if you ask).
But don’t be disheartened, there are many things you can do to relieve the symptoms and treat the cause/s naturally.
12 Measures to Help Manage Symptoms & Address Risk Factors.
If you are able to recognise a niggling symptom or problem early on, you may be lucky and treatment for you may be as simple as addressing one or more of the below:
- Improve your sleep quality
- Address your stressors
- Visit your chiropractor
- Rest the affected hand
- Correct your posture
- Correct your exercise technique
- Do carpal tunnel syndrome specific stretching
- Address dietary deficiencies
- Incorporated anti-inflammatory, healing foods
- Avoid inflammatory foods
- Take quality supplements for inflammation
- Address toxicities
Treating the Root Cause is not Always Easy
Apart from dealing with the symptoms and risk factors; further investigation may be required to work out the root cause (so it doesn’t come back).
This is the obvious next step. Treating any existing conditions, or known physical stressors that may be additional risk factors is paramount.
I understand and expect that his may seem very daunting for some people. Especially so, if you have many contributing factors or chronic illness; so you may be thinking “that’s easier said than done”.
It’s all about moving in the right direction… step by step.
Example: If you are able to implement just 2 steps a week (be they, dietary or lifestyle); these equate to over 100 changes in the course of a year…
Now that’s a big accomplishment!! And indeed places you on the road to recovery from existing illness and / or future Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Optimal health (for each individual) is so achievable if you look toward the big picture and stop searching for quick fixes.
BEFORE YOU GO!