Carpal Tunnel or Neck Misalignment?

by admin

Carpal Tunnel

Over time, the body suffers from the stress of repetition. Sitting at the keyboard all day as a typist or writer, working in a garage as a mechanic, playing chords on a guitar, or even performing surgery in an operating room can bring about the debilitating effects of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Repetitive movements can cause the joints and fluids in our hands to begin breaking down, causing pain and discomfort. While the Carpal Tunnel Condition is not the only Repetitive Strain Injury that your body can endure, it is one of the most familiar to those who work with their hands every day.

Repetitive strain injuries

As the name suggests, repetitive strain injuries occur over time, to areas of the body burdened with repetitive movement. Most people who use computer keyboards for work use their hands constantly. Over time, this damages the tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues in the areas being used. This isn’t just limited to hands, either: the shoulder, neck and back are often affected as well. Poor posture in conjunction with repetitive movements results in soft tissues eventually breaking down, which often causes discomfort and pain.

Carpal Tunnel is most commonly associated with computer usage, and in the age of technology, it is no coincidence that more and more people are suffering from this insidious affliction. Unlike a more overt injury, like a broken bone, Carpal Tunnel is accumulated over time and is often not at first detectable.

Taking care of your digits

The best preventative measure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is practicing good posture. For computer usage, the following is a good guide. Properly situate your hands so that they stay level with the keyboard—not resting on the edge of the desk, or angled downwards. Because you can also develop other bad posture conditions, such as Forward Head posture, it is also important to adjust your monitor so that your neck isn’t angled forward to view the screen.

Another tip for keeping tendons and joints healthy is to keep the hands and arms warm so that blood flow remains consistent. Cold weather conditions makes tendons and joints more susceptible to damage.

The chiropractor can help

Surprisingly, Carpel Tunnel symptoms are not always due to Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. The first thing that a good chiropractor will do is check your neck. Oftentimes issues in the extremities will clear up if there is an upper cervical misalignment that the chiropractor resolves. The nerves in the neck are connected to the nerves in the fingers, hands, and wrist, and a misaligned cervical bone can impinge on these pathways causing the wrists to feel weak, achy, and otherwise symptomatic of Carpel Tunnel.

After a neck evaluation, if the doctor determines that you indeed have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, there are a number of posture modifications the doctor may recommend, as well as manual treatments to the wrist area. Sleep posture and typing posture, especially, are two areas the doctor will want to help the patient modify and correct.

Sources:

  • Neurodynamic Mobilization in the Conservative Treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Long-Term Follow-Up of 7 Cases: http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/ABSTRACTS/Neurodynamic_Mobilization.shtml
  • Occupational Injuries Suffered by Classical Musicians Through Overuse – http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/ABSTRACTS/Occupational_Injuries.shtml
  • UN-L Engineering Electronics Shop: http://eeshop.unl.edu/rsi.html
  • The San Francisco Chiropractic Review: http://www.sfbackpaindoctor.com/2011/04/san-francisco-chiropractor-review.html

Tagged in: carpal tunnel, Chiropractic

 

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