Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is a tunnel located at the base of your wrist that has the median nerve pass through. The median nerve is responsible for the movement and sensation of your thumb, pointer, middle, and one half of your ring finger. When your median nerve becomes compressed, you will start to experience numbness and tingling. If it is compressed hard enough you may experience pain, weakness, and muscle wasting.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not always a simple as you would think. Many doctors will tell you that the carpal tunnel is shrinking causing impingement of the median nerve. This may be true in rare cases, but we encourage you to think surgery after you have tried conservative treatment. Also, these surgeries have a low success rate because carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by many different things.
We must look at the possible entrapment areas to see if a bone is pinching the nerve. Metabolic causes such as hypothyroid are commonly seen with carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain areas of the brain can also cause the muscles to tighten up on the front side of your arm causing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Entrapments of the Median Nerve
The 3 most common areas of median nerve entrapment are the carpal tunnel, anterior interosseous ligament, and the pronator teres muscle. It is important to understand where the nerve gets entrapped to properly treat the muscle or ligament. The carpal tunnel is located at the base of the wrist. This is not the most common type of entrapment, but most people treat this area with little to no relief. The median nerve passes through the pronator teres muscles and is the most common reason for carpal tunnel syndrome. This muscle becomes tight from typing, writing, serving or a number of other reasons.
Metabolic Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is important to look outside the box when traditional therapies are not working. Thyroid conditions are becoming a more common reason to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking a proper history and running labs may be necessary in order to address the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome. Other metabolic conditions can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Brain Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you suffer from median nerve entrapment, it is most likely that you have dominance of your flexor muscles. That is the front portion of your arm and hand. This can cause compression of the nerve at any of the entrapment locations. When your brain gets damaged, there is a primitive response to activate the flexor muscles. This increases the likelihood of having the nerve compressed.
The brain is a direct output to all of your muscles in your body. Just as in a stroke or serious brain injury a person will develop a flexor posturing, this will happen for almost any brain dysfunction. When this happens, the only way to fix this problem is to be seen by a specialist in functional neurology.
Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you are still reading, you understand that carpal tunnel syndrome is not a simple condition. It has the potential to be many different causes of your condition. There is not one appropriate treatment but finding a doctor who is well versed in all forms of this condition is crucial to being free of this condition.
If you find yourself still dealing with your carpal tunnel syndrome we would love to help you. The road to recovery may not always be easy but in the end, you will look back see how far you have come.