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Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Pinched Nerve in Neck?

carpal tunnel doctors san francisco

Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or the Neck?

We have been providing treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in San Francisco for over 22 years.

One of the more common presentations of symptoms that we see at our chiropractic clinic in downtown San Francisco is computer related hand pain, numbness, tingling, burning, aching and weakness (some or all of these together). Sometimes there is associated neck shoulder, or arm pain.

So the question becomes…what is the underlying cause of the symptoms?

Sure, these are the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), but the likelihood there is true CTS is rare. What’s more likely is that the cause of the CTS symptoms is a pinched nerve in the neck. After-all…the nerves that exit from in between the bones in the neck, travel into the upper extremities and innervate and control the arms and hands.

When there is pressure on these nerves in the neck it can cause the same signs and symptoms of true carpal tunnel syndrome.

Pinched nerves in the neck are mostly the result of bulging or herniated cervical discs, subluxated vertebrae, or degenerative disc disease…all of which respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments. In the event we need a little help, we have deep tissue laser or nonsurgical spinal decompression.

We do chiropractic adjustments to the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers on both sides. We do massage and exercise as well. We are also concerned with proper ergonomics, sleeping positions and nutrition. It is this comprehensive approach that has allowed us to successfully treat thousands of patients with CTS symptoms over the years.

So…if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care…please call 415-392-2225 and make an appointment with one of our San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Experts. Chances are, you will be glad you did :-)

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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Headaches Treatment with Chiropractic


Headaches treatment in san francisco financial districtWe have been providing natural headaches treatment with chiropractic in downtown San Francisco since 1992.

Did you
know that 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches? There are many different
types of headaches with a multitude of symptoms including achy, throbbing,
nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness, blinding, noise, light and/or odor
sensitivity, and more. The causes of headaches can include genetics (familial traits
like migraine headaches), stress or tension (probably one of
the most common), environmental (allergies, seasonal, bright sunlight, loud
noises, certain foods), behavioral (insomnia, excessive
exercise, blood sugar problems, depression), and many more.

            Environmental factors can “trigger”
the onset of a headache. About 95% of headache sufferers have “primary
headaches” such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. The other 5% may be
caused by other physical conditions or problems and the headache serves as a
“warning sign” that something else is wrong. The “key” in the 5% of potentially
dangerous types of headaches is to pay attention to when there is a rapid onset
(“…it came out of nowhere fast!”), if they are very intense, and are
“different” from other headaches previously suffered. When nervous system
symptoms occur that are unusual for that person, such as lapses in memory, the
person is not responding, rapid onset of dizziness, balance disturbance,  and/or a “blinding sharp pain,” these should
trigger a warning sign that something specific and potentially dangerous may be
causing the headache.

            For the main 95% of headaches
sufferers, neck tension is a common complaint with the headache. Research
supports that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), the primary form of care
utilized by chiropractors, is an effective option for tension headaches. A 2001
Duke University study reported that SMT
resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches originating in the
neck, had fewer side effects, AND longer-lasting relief of tension-type
headaches compared to those receiving commonly prescribed medication. Another
study found that SMT was effective, not only for relieving the headache, but
had a sustained benefit AFTER it was discontinued after a 4-week treatment
period. This was NOT seen in a similar tension-type headache group receiving
prescribed medication treatment only.

            Here is how to help yourself:

 

1.
Improve your posture: Most of us are “chin pokers” and
“slouchers.” The weight of the head pulls on the neck and upper back muscles
and when held in that fixed position while driving, typing, watching TV, the
static muscle tension can create a headache.

2.
Take “mini-breaks” every 30-45 minutes from static fixed
positions and perform some exercises. A good stretch is to reach over to the
opposite side of the head and gently pull to stretch the sides of the neck.
Repetitively, poke and tuck your chin in & out to stretch different muscle
fibers. Then, add flexion, extension and/or rotation to the same movements for
about 10 sec./side. Try it now!

3.
Avoid clenching your teeth and shrugging your shoulders. We do
these things without being conscious that we’re even doing it. Those static
loads play havoc with our neck muscles. 

4.    Drink plenty of water – at least 8 oz., 8x/day (more when
exercising or pregnant). If you want to be more accurate, take your current
weight and divide by 2. (Eg., 130# person = 65oz./day; 190# = 95oz./day).

5.
If
you have chronic headaches, COME SEE US!
This is what we do, and it helps A LOT!

             We realize that you have a choice in
where you choose your healthcare services.
If you, a friend or family member requires care for headaches, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Headaches Doctors please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Altadonna
Communications ©

 

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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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Chiropractic

Carpal tunnel experts san franciscoCarpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by pinching of the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel in the wrist resulting numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain into the hand affecting the index, 3rd, and thumb-side of the 4th finger. Grip strength weakness may occur (usually later in the process), making dropping of items and fine motor activities, like buttoning shirts, challenging. There are many approaches to the treatment of CTS of which surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament is the most common and usually recommended by most primary care physicians when tests support the presence of CTS. But, there are alternative treatment approaches that should be utilized first because the recovery time is less lengthy and grip weakness often occurs post-surgically with approximately a 30% loss of strength. Moreover, the CTS sufferer will lose minimal or no work time when treated with chiropractic approaches, compared to a 2 to 6 week work loss time after surgery, if there are no complications. Bottom line, there are no serious side effects to chiropractic management of CTS so, why wouldn’t you try that first since there are potential side effects to the surgical approach?

            So, what can you expect when you present for chiropractic treatment and management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

            The history process includes how the condition started (“mechanism of injury”), the date of onset, activities that make the condition better and worse, the quality of symptoms, the location of symptoms, the severity (0-10 scale usually), and when the condition is worse (such as night time when sleeping). There are special questionnaires that ask about symptom severity and function loss which are scored and used to track progress during treatment. A pain diagram is completed by the patient that illustrates where the patient has pain, numbness or other symptoms on a map of the body.  This is important as frequently in CTS, there are areas in the neck, shoulder, arm as well as the wrist and hand that are present in patients with CTS and successful management of CTS depends on treating ALL areas involved, NOT just the wrist/hand.

The examination of the CTS patient includes observing posture for a forward head position, protracted or rolled forward shoulders, muscle bulk of the arms, and if there is any abnormal spinal curvature or head tilt. The skin is also inspected for lesions, rashes, discoloration, swelling and hair loss. Next is palpation where we determine if there are any subluxations (vertebral and/or extremity joint misalignments) and/or trigger points in muscles including the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Orthopedic tests are performed where we put the neck, shoulder, arm and hand in various positions to see if the symptoms of CTS change.  These tests give us clues as to which tissues are contributing to the CTS symptoms. For example, applying thumb pressure over the carpal tunnel will often reproduce the CTS symptoms of numbness and/or pain into the index, 3rd, and thumb half of the 4th finger. When we find multiple tests that reproduce the CTS symptoms, we will know what  areas require treatment as frequently, we will find a significant contribution to the CTS symptoms are coming from the neck, shoulder, and/or forearm, NOT JUST the wrist. This is why, in some cases, patients may not have a satisfying result after CTS surgery. Our San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Doctors check from the neck to the fingertips on both sides.

The treatment the CTS patient may expect at the chiropractic office includes manipulation of the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. We will often perform muscle release techniques where pressure is applied into the muscles during stretch as well as friction massage. We incorporate Active Release Technique, as well as Graston Technique and Triger Points. The use of a wrist “cock-up” splint at night is very helpful to reduce the frequency of waking up at night due to hand/finger numbness. Various physical therapy modalities such as deep tissue therapeutic laser therapy, electrical stimulation, pulsed magnetic stimulation, ultrasound, and others can also be helpful. Also, we give exercises that are extremely helpful and we frequently discuss job modifications to helps to reduce the repetitive strain that causes and can prolong the condition. We also incorporate custom exercises from stretches to strengthening of the neck, shoulder, arm and hands.

            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 services.

To schedule an appointment with one of our carpal tunnel experts in San Francisco…call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Related articles: What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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