Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Affected by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Find Out How We Can Help.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve becomes irritated or compressed, typically causing aching, burning, tingling or numbness in the fingers, hand or wrist. The median nerve runs from the neck to the hand, traveling through the shoulder, arm and wrist. It provides sensation to and facilitates movement of the thumb, index, and middle fingers.


The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage that contains the median nerve, bones, connective tissue and tendons that pass through the base of the hand on the palm side. Swollen, irritated tendons can compress this tunnel in addition to other swelling that places pressure on the median nerve.


Women are three times more likely than men to suffer carpal tunnel syndrome. People become more likely to develop this condition as they age.


Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may initially be tolerated without medical care because they are mild, but the condition can worsen over time. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent permanent nerve damage. Medical care can also rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms to that of carpal tunnel syndrome.


Common symptoms include:



  • Aching pain in wrist, hand or fingers (with the exception of the little finger), and sometimes in forearm

  • Burning, tingling and/or numbness in wrist, hand or fingers (and sometimes in forearm)

  • Weakness in the hand

  • Muscle weakness and swelling in the hand

  • Loss of temperature sensation to affected areas

  • Difficulty lifting and transporting small objects or turning doorknobs

A number of factors can cause or contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes the condition is caused by a combination of factors.


Injury to or fracture of the wrist can cause swelling that can lead to compression of the median nerve. Having a smaller than normal carpal tunnel is a risk factor for compression and entrapment.


Nerve damage can be caused by certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Obesity, thyroid disorders, and kidney failure are also risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome.


Fluid retention, a common occurrence in pregnancy and menopause, can irritate the median nerve because of increased pressure in the carpal tunnel.


Repetitive movements, working with vibrating tools, and extensive computer use may exert pressure on the median nerve or exacerbate existing damage to the nerve. However, these factors have not been scientifically determined to directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome.


Poor posture, muscle tension, disc bulges, arthritis and spinal misalignment are spinal problems than can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. The atlas and the axis, the most mobile parts of the spine, are susceptible to injury or misalignment, which can disrupt communication between the brain and the rest of the body and cause many health problems.


Upper cervical care, which focuses on the atlas and the axis, can help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms by realigning the part of the spine where the median nerve originates. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to see how an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment may help you if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.