Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers, as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body's peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.
Vibration and repetitive movements, along with problems of the spine and other dysfunctions of the joints can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel could be:
- Pain and cramps in the wrist and forearm.
- Pain, tingling and numbness in the index and middle fingers.
- Loss of strength in the hand.
The median nerve runs from the tip of the fingers, through the bones of the wrist, elbow, along the arm, shoulder and neck, and finally to the spinal cord. Doctors of Chiropractic detect subluxations (small displacement of a vertebra), and through the adjustment, keep the spine healthy and without interference.
In the case of carpal tunnel, compression of the nerve might be at the neck so the adjustment would be applied in the upper region of the neck and back, allowing muscles to restore their normal functions; then the specific correction of the carpal tunnel by gentle manipulations to the shoulder, elbow and wrist.
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