The hand is the most complex structure in the body. Considering all that our hands do throughout the day; the myriad of nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles, lymphatic tissue, arteries and veins are no less immune to the stress and strain than the carpal tunnel experiences. Over 500,000 carpal tunnel surgeries are performed annually. Is it possible that the real origin of carpal tunnel pain and dysfunction might not lie solely within the carpal tunnel? Our experience indicates, yes!
Starting with a forward head and neck along with rounded shoulders and upper back; poor postural alignment significantly contributes to the compression of the delicate nerve roots that emanate from the cervical spine which ultimately extend through the shoulder complex, down the arms, ending at the fingertips.
Rounding of the shoulders alters the position of the humeral head within the shoulder socket. This misalignment is not isolated at the shoulder. It continues ‘down the chain’ altering the alignment of the elbow which then distorts the alignment of the wrist and its association and articulation with the carpal bones of the hand. A slumped sitting or standing postural position further compresses delicate lymphatic and vascular tissue, impeding circulation and detoxification that is vital to the health and well being of nerve tissue.
Our approach to the treatment of upper extremity dysfunction is to evaluate total body musculoskeletal imbalances, bio-mechanical stress and strain patterns. Quite often, carpal tunnel symptoms are a manifestation of an existing, larger region of dysfunction which creates and refers pain into the carpal tunnel. Without effective reorganization of the musculoskeletal system, alleviation of the symptoms will be temporary at best. When compression of sensitive nerve, lymphatic and vascular tissue has existed for prolonged periods, we employ delicate circulatory and drainage techniques to facilitate and restore lymphatic and vascular flow to the extremity.