Carpal tunnel syndrome starts in the wrist…sometimes.
As the story goes: inflammation causes irritation on the nerves of the wrist, causing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
But what if carpal tunnel isn’t just in the wrist? What if, instead of being a problem of the wrist, it was a problem of the median nerve? At various places in the neck, shoulder, arm, and forearm?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is nerve pain
Nerve pain in the arm is often a common symptom of people with neck problems. Neck problems like:
- disc degeneration,
- loss of cervical curve,
- arthritis, and
- chiropractic subluxations of the neck
That is because the nerves of the arm all start their journey by leaving from the the neck.
They come together in branches from the middle and lower parts of the neck. They travel below the shoulder joint, joining together to form the brachial plexus. Depending on which branch of the brachial plexus is irritated or compressed, medicine has several different names of conditions.
For example, the median nerve can be irritated in the elbow. In the elbow it causes Pronater Teres syndrome. If it is irritated at the forearm, it is called Anterior Interossseous Syndrome.
Double crush syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome
But no matter where the symptoms are, it is still the same nerve. The top parts of the nerve still travels from the neck, below the shoulder, and down the arm.
Which means any irritation in the neck is more likely to show up as irritation and symptoms down stream.
This theory is called the double crush theory. And while it still needs more research, it can explain why patients who appear to have more than one irritation to the nerves of their arm don’t always respond well to carpal tunnel surgery.
If the carpal tunnel symptoms are partially coming from the patient’s neck or shoulder, then surgery on the wrist is not going to solve irritation in the neck or the shoulder.
Does that make sense?
So, how do you know if irritation above your wrist is contributing or even causing your carpal tunnel syndrome.
A great choice is to talk to the people that can gently address the problem joint alignment that is responsible for this irritation!
Our Auburn Hills upper cervical chiropractic practice, with its focus on the health of the neck in particular, is a great place to find out if you can help heal yourself from carpal tunnel, with better spinal alignment.