Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) has a variety of symptoms associated with it, the most common symptoms, which is almost always present—is lack of feeling (numbness). Usually numbness is noticed on the palm side of the index, middle and ring fingers.
A particularly uncomfortable aspect of CTS is that sufferers will often report waking at night with disturbing CTS symptoms and needing to ‘shake’ their hand for relief. At this point a numbness and tingling disorder has progressed to a disorder which is impeding often much needed recuperative sleep.
Using the hand too much for jobs such as assembly line work, operating equipment and machines—repetitive type work with the hands.
What causes numbness with CTS? The carpal tunnel, is just that—a tunnel and the base of that tunnel is formed by a ligament (transverse carpal ligament). The roof of the tunnel is formed by 8 small bones. Within the carpal tunnel run tendons leading from the strong forearm muscles to fingers—this gives us our grip. In fact when you grip your fingers you will notice movements in your forearm muscles.
Numbness with CTS occurs due to swelling within the carpal tunnel—due to friction and heat caused by those repetitive finger movements.
Swelling within the carpal tunnel can be especially problematic because also within the carpal tunnel is a nerve—the never which supplies sensation to the index, middle and ring finger. With time pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel can cause the numbness and tingling of CTS.
In addition to repetitive finger and hand activities, swelling associated with pregnancy, hypothyroid, or being overweight can also impinge upon the CTS nerve causing numbness and tingling—indeed, sometimes weight loss is associated with alleviation of CTS symptoms. Diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, and double or multiple crush syndrome—nerve pressure in the neck, shoulder, elbow, and/or forearm, can also contribute to or cause CTS.
Chiropractic often benefits those suffering for CTS for this very reason: It may relieve pressure on the nerves upstream from the carpal tunnel—in the neck, elbow or arm. Weight loss, getting control of inflammatory conditions, and refraining from excessive hand and wrist work also can help bring resolution to the numbness and tingling of CTS. Many people have found relief of CTS suffering with chiropractic thereby being able to avoid surgery.