Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a disorder that causes pain in the wrist and hand. True CTS involves the compression of the median nerve which travels through the tunnel in the middle of the bones of the wrist known as the carpal bones. Hence, the name Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The surgical solution for CTS is to cut the ligament that supports the wrist in order to take pressure from the median nerve (pictured right).
The first priority when determining if your pain is true CTS is determining if the pain you have fits the nerve distribution of the median nerve, and making sure there is no nerve compression anywhere further up the arm or into the neck. Often there are multiple sites of nerve compression which can lead to symptoms, but those symptoms are in a different area of hand than the area that the median nerve addresses.
There are also cases where the pain comes from the median nerve, but not from compression in the wrist, and is therefore not true CTS.
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The first step in our diagnostic process is to do what’s called “nerve tension tests,” which can help us determine where along the kinetic chain the compression is coming from. There are also well known tests used to determine if the pain is coming from the wrist itself. Once we figure out the source, we can treat accordingly.
Like everything else we treat here, the most important part is giving you self-treatment measures to practice at home. In the event of CTS and other nerve entrapment situations, there are exercises known as “nerve flossing” which can help reduce your symptoms; often very quickly.
We have had several cases over the years where a patient had already had surgery for CTS, and still had the symptoms that caused them to seek help in the first place. Our protocol determined that their issue was not the median nerve, or that their pain was in that particular nerve but coming from somewhere other than the wrist.
Sometimes we use manual methods such as Graston Technique or manipulation along with the nerve flossing techniques already described. But we can’t do any of that without you. Give us a call: 224-653-8094
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