Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Hi everyone,

This blog is going to continue with a theme about technology (as we discussed some Apps for Appetite in the previous blog).  However, besides using technology to help our health, I want discusses a condition that can be caused by the use of technology because our western culture is very tech savvy and everyone uses computers.

Because of the change in social and work use of technology the prevalence of a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has increased.  Keep in mind the use of computers isn’t the only thing that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.  It can be caused by repetitive use of the wrist leading to a series of events that ultimately over time can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.  Besides occupational factors leading to carpal tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. Some of these are:

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance)
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
  • tumours of tendon sheaths
  • wrist fractures and dislocations
  • wrist cysts
  • pregnancy
  • use of oral contraceptives
  • menopause

So What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The Carpal Tunnel is a structure created by the bones and ligaments of the wrist. There two bones in the forearm.  These two bones run parallel and form a U-shaped cup at our wrist. Inside this cup sit the eight tiny bones, called carpal or wrist bones.

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These bones form what is known as the “floor” or the bottom of the Carpal Tunnel.  The “roof” of is a ligament. Between the roof and the floor, there are tendons going to the fingers (that control hand movement) and one nerve.  Basically, the carpal tunnel is a space where some tendons and a nerve go through.

So what? What is the big deal?

How does carpal tunnel syndrome develop?

Bending the wrist or moving the fingers moves the tendons that are in the carpal tunnel.  The tendons are encased in sheaths. These sheaths allow the tendons to slide.  The walls of the sheaths contain a fluid to keep the tendons moving smoothly.  With repetitive or excessive movement of the hand and/or wrist, the lubrication of the tendons in the sheath decreases.   This ultimately leads to friction between the tendon and its sheath causing inflammation and swelling.  The swelling then leads to squeezing of the nerve in the carpal tunnel. Repeated episodes of inflammation cause fibrous tissue to form, again putting pressure on the median nerve.  In non-occupational causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, there is still an increase in the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the nerve.

The symptoms of nerve compression can result in sensations of numbness, tingling, pain, and clumsiness of the hand. This combination of symptoms is called carpal tunnel syndrome. If left alone long enough a severe case can lead to weakness and eventually atrophy of groups of muscles in the hand.

Numbness and Pain

Numbness and Pain with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Muscle Wasting

Muscle Wasting with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here is a good video visually showing the carpal tunnel.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J11EIfiHMYw

Treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Traditional medical treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome include such things as pain medications, cortisone shots and even surgery.  Since carpal tunnel is due to ligament enlargement and compression, and chiropractors specialize in treating joints/ligaments, consider visiting a chiropractor in your local area.  Chiropractors can offer treatment options such as joint mobilization(Chiropractic Adjustments), Acupuncture, Graston Technique®, Kinesiotaping, exercises and even ergonomic advice to help treat this condition.

I offer a great therapy in the office, called the Graston Technique® to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.  Here is a video demonstrating the treatment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUYKIS3Ty8A

http://www.grastontechnique.com/file/sites|*|86|*|EDGE-Archives|*|DCs|*|Summary-of-Graston-Technique-Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Research-Project.pdf

Anyways, I hope that explains how technology can be both helpful and harmful.

Thanks,

Dr. Reena

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What is Chiropractic Medicine?

Hi everyone!

Since this is my first blog, the first topic I would like to address is: Chiroprctic Medicine. I know most of you, if you are reading this, probably have some sort of idea, but here is some information that I had written on my website (http://www.HandsOnHealthChiropractic.ca)

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventative care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints.

Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

For many conditions, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care is frequently the primary method of treatment. Where other conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the neuromusculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.

Chiropractic care may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for patients with chronic conditions. According to patient surveys, by treating the neuromusculoskeletal elements of such disorders, chiropractic treatment has been shown to improve the general well-being of the patient.

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Strains and sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Work and sports injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Limited range of motion in the back, shoulder, neck or limbs
  • General health and well-being

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History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic is the largest  form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the United States. It is highly regulated. Spinal manipulations or “adjustments” were discovered by David D. Palmer in 1895 and have been safely used for over a century to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.

The purpose of an adjustment is to restore muscular balance to a joint that is not moving correctly or causing pain. This imbalance in the muscles surrounding a joint is sometimes called “dysfunction” or “fixation”. If the imbalance in the joint is significant enough, it can even cause nerve injury in the area.

Thorough Examination

First, we analyze your spine. This usually involves a case history, examination and possibly x-ray pictures of your spine. We may have you turn and bend to feel how your joints move. We may also check your posture, alignment, balance and leg lengths.

If a vertebra in the spine is noted to be out of alignment, the mis-alignment can affect more than just your spine. The health of your spine directly affects your nervous system, which in term affects the functionality of muscles, organs, and other systems in the body.  A vertebral subluxation, also known as the vertebral subluxation complex, is the improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine causing nervous system interference, thereby compromising the body’s self-healing and self-regulating potential.Image

There can be many causes of subluxations

Physical causes are acute trauma to the body or repetitive motions that affect the spine. These could include slips and falls, accidents, poor posture, improper workstation habits, repetitive motions, poor sleep positions and improper lifting.

Emotional causes refer to stresses such as grief, anger, anxiety and fear. Excessive stress and inadequate stress management have been shown in research to have significant effects on the immune system.

Chemical causes include poor diet and nutrition, alcohol or drug use, pollution and/or chemical toxins ingested in foods, air, and water.

The Adjustment

With the dysfunction of one or more joints identified, a specific manual thrust is administered. The direction, speed, depth and angle that we use are the results of experience, practice and a thorough understanding of body’s mechanics. Sometimes, the energy delivered during the thrust produces a slight “popping” sound from shifting gas and fluids in the joint. This sound is not an indicator of the value or effectiveness of the adjustment. While improving spinal biomechanics can reduce pain, virtually all joints of the body can be adjusted to help restore proper range of motion.

After Your First Adjustment

It is normal to feel anywhere from slightly sore to entirely pain-free after your first adjustment. Your body has been through a dramatic alignment change and may take some time to relax. For minor discomfort, we suggest taking a hot shower or using an ice pack on the area. However, if your pain becomes severe or unusual, please call our office or receive emergency medical attention.

My Goals

I like to focus treatment on both the neuromuscular and skeletal systems by using chiropractic manipulation, stretches, exercises, Graston Technique, KinesioTaping and acupuncture to lessen pain. Through these alternative healthcare measures, I believe that most people can avoid the dangerous side effects of drugs and surgery.

My goal is to find the root of the issue, and to improve your quality of life by treating underlying conditions, not just symptoms. I will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will provide relief and heal your current condition. I will also counsel you in preventative care and work with you to develop an on-going program to lessen pain and promote good health.

I have a true passion for what I do, and I am always learning.  I have continued my education by attending seminars and acquiring post-graduate certifications:

Yours in Health,

Dr. Reena

PS: I hope that explains things, as always if you have questions, please feel free to contact me via http://reenapathakdc.webs.com/apps/contactme/sites/show or comment below on the blog