What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). It usually develops slowly over time. The repetitious contraction and relaxation of the arm muscles enable continuous hand and finger movement, which can irritate the nerves, tendons, and fascia (muscle covering) in the arms, wrists, and hands.

Why do some people get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and others don’t, even though they perform identical tasks? 

The Carpal Tunnel is a small canal inside the wrist. The top part is formed by the alignment of the carpal (wrist) bones while the bottom part consists of the transverse ligament- a fibrous band that completes the tunnel.

WARNING SIGNS OF CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness of hands
  • Neck tension
  • Night Pain
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal sensation
  • Hand Clumsiness

Combined within the carpal tunnel are three structures:

1. The Median Nerve

2. Nine (9) Flexor tendons that enable you to curl your wrist and fingers

3. Blood Vessels to the palm and fingers

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results from compression of the Median Nerve within the carpal tunnel.

The Median Nerve originates in the neck and travels down the center of your forearm and through the carpal tunnel to the hand muscles.

What Does The Median Nerve Do?

The Median Nerve controls some of the sensory and motor (movement) function in the hand (Shaded areas in the hand diagram above).

How Does The Median Nerve Become Compressed?

The Median Nerve can become compressed anywhere along its course from the neck to the carpal tunnel. Misaligned bones in the neck, tight neck muscles, cervical (neck) ribs, shoulder dysfunctions, inflamed tendons, and misaligned carpal bones are capable of compressing or irritating the Median Nerve, resulting in the symptoms of CTS.

What Causes All These Things?

A small portion of the conditions listed above are congenital (with you at birth), the rest are the result of poor posture, repetitive movements over time done improperly (RSI)*, poor ergonomics, falls experienced throughout life, sleeping on your stomach or hands, awkward hand positions playing sports or hobbies such as bowling, racquetball, or motorcycle riding. Pregnancy, birth control pills, high salt diets, and systemic diseases like diabetes, which cause the body to retain water, can also contribute to compression of the Median Nerve in the carpal tunnel.

Most doctors assume that it’s all in your wrist or hand; but did you know that most Carpal Tunnel Syndrome victims have a Primary Median Nerve “Crush” Site in their NECK? The Median Nerve  comes straight out between the bones of your neck. Doctors are trained to diagnose and treat symptoms, and with this approach, it is easy to miss the neck when treating the pain instead of the cause. Sometimes nerve compression is so advanced that drugs and surgery are the only courses left to take. Don’t wait too long!