Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which pain, discomfort or decreased function results from undue pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is the main nerve that controls feeling and movement to the hand. It sits inside the carpal tunnel (hence the name of the syndrome). The carpal tunnel actually functions as a tunnel; the “walls” are bones and the “roof” is the carpal ligament – a main ligament that connects the hand to the forearm. Several ligaments as well as the median nerve run through this tunnel, so if any of the ligaments inside the tunnel, or the carpal ligament itself, become damaged or inflamed, too much pressure is put on the median nerve, resulting in a number of inconvenient and uncomfortable symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since the median nerve runs through the wrist and toward the “inside” of the hand, many people with carpal tunnel syndrome report burning, tingling or numbness in the thumb and/or middle finger of the affected wrist. People also experience pain in the wrist and forearm, which can vary from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing pain that radiates down the fingers and up the arm. Because there are so many tendons and ligaments in such a narrow space, carpal tunnel syndrome is often confused with other syndromes like tendonitis or De Quervain’s syndrome, so doctors will often perform tests like MRI’s, EMG’s and ultrasounds to get a look at the carpal ligament and the median nerve to confirm that it is in fact carpal tunnel syndrome. Check out the Blatman Health and Wellness YouTube channel for videos about carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by damage to the median nerve resulting from repetitive movements of the hand and wrist. People who perform repetitive manual tasks for work are more likely than others to develop carpal tunnel issues. Activities like reading a book, driving, typing, knitting, troweling and many more can tighten your forearm fascia, causing the carpal canal to tighten and push or squish your median nerve, resulting in pain and decreased function. Women, people who are obese, thyroid disorders and arthritis can all increase your risk for developing this affliction. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition, so you should seek treatment as early on as you can.
Traditional Treatments vs Holistic Treatments
Typical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome mostly include changes in lifestyle habits, courses of NSAID’s and even surgery. In carpal tunnel surgery, the carpal ligament is released (read: cut). This takes the “roof” off of the tunnel, giving the ligaments and median nerve inside more room to breathe. As far as surgeries go, it’s fairly simple, but 50% of the time results are not so good, and 30% of those are bad enough to lead to chronic issues. And it’s still surgery. And it’s really just a way to relieve symptoms by causing strategic damage. We recommend alternative treatments.
At Blatman Health and Wellness Center, we focus on holistic and regenerative medicine. Our treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as many other tissue-related syndromes, are natural, safe, effective, and have minimal risks or side effects when compared to traditional treatments. For instance, PRP therapy uses platelets extracted from your own blood and injected into the affected wrist to encourage the wrist to heal itself. Similarly, stem cell therapy can use stem cells from your own body to stimulate its healing program, also via a simple injection. Specific fascia release exercises and specific vitamins are often very helpful. In addition, we offer similar therapies as well that use non-active, non-synthetic injectables to encourage your body to heal itself naturally.
We can create a plan for your carpal tunnel syndrome treatment that is tailored to your symptoms and the extent of the existing damage. We can also help relieve your pain and manage inflammation with natural pain relief like medical marijuana or CBD products. We offer many treatment options to help heal your wrist and restore function in your hand that are holistic, safe and gentle on your body’s systems. If you’re ready to take control of your carpal tunnel syndrome, call our office today.