Chiropractor or M.D. for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome doctor san franciscoCarpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very common problem
affecting a large population (1 out of 20 in the general population) including
typists, assembly line workers, postal employees, secretaries, servers/waiters,
musicians, carpenters, and many others. CTS drives a high level of cost to the
health care system between time lost from work, treatment costs, and short and
long term disability payments (on average $30,000 per claim, and this is an old
stat!). Continued CTS signs and symptoms can persist long after surgical
treatment and the question that typically arises when this happens is “…why?”
Let’s take a look at reasons for failed treatment of CTS…

The classic non-surgical medical management model for
treating CTS includes non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication (like
ibuprofen), rest, and the use of nocturnal (night time) wrist splints. This
approach works in some cases, but in the majority, it is unsuccessful and leads
to the next medical management step: surgery.  And frequently, the CTS surgery fails and
follow-up surgery is needed.

The classic chiropractic management model for treating
CTS includes similar initial treatment approaches including anti-inflammatory
measures, rest, and night wrist splints. One anti-inflammatory measure is ice
massage or cupping, where the ice is rubbed directly on the skin until numbness
is achieved (this usually takes about 4 minutes). Prior to numbness, there will
be a burning and aching often described as intense, “…like a brain-freeze when
I drink a slushy too fast.” The ice cup approach can be repeated several times
a day. Other anti-inflammatory measures may include the use of herbal
anti-inflammatory nutrients such as ginger, tumeric, boswellia, bioflavinoids,
and/or the use of digestive enzymes taken between meals to help reduce the
inflammation. The “rest” component is also shared by both models as is the use
of the night wrist splint. So, what makes the chiropractic model different?

The nerve affected in CTS is called the median nerve.
It arises initially from the nerves in the neck, specifically, C6-8 and T1
nerve roots which are part of the brachial plexus. These form into one nerve
(the median nerve) which travels through small openings, first at the neck
followed by the shoulder (called the thoracic outlet), then into the arm
through a muscle at the elbow (pronator tunnel), and finally through the carpal
tunnel at the wrist to innervate the hand including the palm and the 2nd, 3rd
digits and thumb side of the 4th finger. The median nerve can get “crushed” in
more than one tunnel and treatment must address the WHOLE nerve, not just at
the carpal tunnel / wrist. This chiropractic management of CTS helps many
patients because the nerve along its entire course including the neck,
shoulder, and elbow is treated, not just the wrist!

A little known fact is that pressure on the nerves in
the neck from misaligned vertebrae, bulging and herniated discs, or spinal
degeneration, can cause the same signs and symptoms as CTS. This is why it is
so important for doctors to check from the neck to the finger tips when
diagnosing carpal tunnel symptoms.

In addition, there must be an effective method of
treatment…not just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments to the neck,
shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers can actually remove physical pressure off
the nerve roots and nerves addressing the true cause of the problem, 100%

We realize you have a choice in who you consider for
your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing
our service for those needs.  If you, a
friend or family member require care for CTS, we would be honored to render our

To schedule an appointment with one of our carpal tunnel doctors in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. 

Serving local 94111 for over 20 years

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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