The carpal tunnel is the narrow space formed by the bones of the wrist and the strong ligament that lies over them. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve, which controls hand muscles and conveys sensation to the hand, compresses in the carpal tunnel. This compression causes painful tingling in the hand, fingers, and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder, especially in women between the ages of 40 and 60, and often affects both hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome has been compared to tarsal tunnel syndrome, and both are often misdiagnosed. The pain experienced in the wrist or the ankle is often referred pain and may be due to an injured or weakened annular ligament in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and injured or weakened ligaments at the ball of the foot in the case of tarsal tunnel syndrome.
How does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Develop?
Certain conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis (particularly rheumatoid arthritis) and thyroid gland imbalance have been associated with an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome also is associated with occupations that involve repetitive hand movements such as heavy and repetitive assembly line work or keyboard work. Women are more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome because it has been linked to pregnancy, PMS, and menopause.
Unfortunately, however, many people with elbow and hand pain have been misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome! Eighty percent of chronic pain in these areas is due to a sprain or weakening of the annular ligament, a ligament rarely examined by a family physician or an orthopedic surgeon.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually, with a vague aching in the wrist that can extend to the hand or forearm. Other common signs and symptoms include tingling or numbness in the fingers or hand, burning in the hand, weakened grip, wasting of some hand muscles (particularly at the base of the thumb) and, in the advanced stage, a constant loss of feeling in some fingers.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome but they do not address the root of the problem. In addition, many of those diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome actually have annular ligament weakness! By strengthening structural weaknesses in the body, as natural therapies do, carpal tunnel syndrome pain can be alleviated permanently.
Discover why we believe that natural treatments are the best way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome and annular ligament weakness.
Natural vs. Modern Medicine’s Approach to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Modern Medicine’s Approach to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Is surgery inevitable with a carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome diagnosis? Although the standard practice of modern medicine is to inject steroids or to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, the end result with a diagnosis of carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome is usually surgery. However, in the long run, all of these treatments can do more damage than good. Although cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration. Plus, long-term use of these drugs can lead to other sources of chronic pain, allergies and leaky gut syndrome.
Surgery, too, can make the condition worse, especially when the condition has been misdiagnosed (which is often the case!). Cervical and annular ligament laxity should always be evaluated prior to making the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Likewise, metatarsal, lateral collateral and medial collateral ligament laxity should be evaluated prior to making the diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome. And surgery for this condition should not be done until a doctor who understands the referral patterns of ligaments performs an evaluation.
The Natural Approach to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A better approach to treating weak ligaments in the foot or the wrist is to strengthen the affected ligaments with Chiropractic adjustments, plus herbal and nutritional supplements. Since ligaments in other parts of the body may also contribute to the condition, these would be treated as well. For example, ligament weakness around the knee, hip, sacroiliac joint or pelvis can also cause radiating pain and numbness in the foot area and would be treated with Chiropractic as needed.
If you are interested in more information about natural treatments or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Laboret at 972-671-5263.
Disclaimer: The preceding is to provide information about relief and the benefits that may be derived. It is not intended to claim a cure for any disease or condition. It should not take the place of your doctor’s advice or treatment.