What is carpal tunnel? That is a common question in our clinic; along with 'What causes this hand numbness?' Unfortunately, there isn't always a simple answer.
True carpal tunnel syndrome stems from impingement or irritation of the median nerve in the wrist, usually affecting the thumb and first finger. Since some fibers of the median nerve are derived from the 6th and 7th cervical nerve roots, it's possible for the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to be confused with nerve symptoms originating in the neck. When there is compression of the median nerve in the wrist as well as compression of the 6th or 7th cervical nerve in the neck, the overlapping symptoms are called "Double Crush Syndrome," and require attention to both the wrist and the neck. A neurologist can determine whether the symptoms are originating in the wrist, the neck, or both, by using nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography to locate sites of damage and nerve root compression.
Your chiropractor should be willing to send your records to a neurologist for a definitive diagnosis if needed. Treatment should be discontinued when symptoms disappear or get worse. At Hudson Chiropractic, we always refer out when appropriate and have incredible co-management success with many of our hand numbness and 'carpal tunnel' patients. Co-management with other healthcare professionals not only limits mistakes in treatment protocols for the patient, but it also decreases the chance of these symptoms returning. This is because the actual area of nerve impingement would have been found and appropriately diagnosed. This past year, around 50% of our patients that thought they had carpal tunnel actually presented with more true 'double crush' symptoms and were treated accordingly.
Please contact us if you are having hand numbness or you are not responding to current 'carpal tunnel' treatments elsewhere. Let us help YOU.