Numbness. Tingling. Weakness. Pain. No one wants any of these symptoms. If you have a combination of these symptoms and your doctor determines your suffering is nerve-related, you receive this diagnosis: neuropathy. When neuropathies occur in the hands, they are often diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. Neuropathies can be caused by metabolic problems like diabetes or underactive thyroid. Another common cause is nerve pressure resulting from trauma. Neuropathy symptoms often occur in the arms and hands after a car accident. People who use their hands at work are at higher risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome: hairdressers, carpenters, and people who type away at their keyboards all day long.
Medical treatment of neuropathies involves drugs, such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants to manage the numbness and tingling. But what drug can restore strength to a weakened body part? This particular symptom does not respond well to drug treatment. A surgeon can cut part of your wrist to relieve the pressure on the nerve that supplies the hand, but this may not provide permanent or complete relief.
If you want to avoid brain-altering drugs and expensive surgeries, you need to investigate another avenue: alignment. As the name “carpal tunnel syndrome” suggests, you have a tunnel in your wrist. This is an arch made of bones that allows the nerves, tendons, and blood vessels to travel to the hand, like a train travels through a tunnel. If the bones of the arch are slightly displaced, they can interfere with normal nerve function and cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain.
What health care specialist is best suited to evaluate the alignment of your wrists? Only a licensed doctor of chiropractic has the training and skills to diagnose interference to normal nerve function. More importantly, chiropractors can remove this interference. In some cases, the relief can be immediate, complete, and long-lasting. A thorough doctor of chiropractic will investigate whether carpal tunnel symptoms are coming directly from the wrist, indirectly through the nerves at the base of the neck, or somewhere in between.
About the author: Dr. Barbara Kaiser, DC, CCWP, is a wellness-certified chiropractor at Vital Life Chiropractic in Eagan, Minnesota.