Archive for tag: supplements

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Over the past two weeks, I have been treating a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a median nerve entrapment neuropathy, which causes paresthesia, pain, numbness, swelling, and other symptoms in the wrist and hand. The symptoms mainly occur around the thumb, index and ring fingers. These symptoms are due to compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist.

The wrist carpal bones and a connective tissue covering called the flexor retinaculum make the carpal tunnel. Several structures pass through the tunnel including: flexor digitorum profundus tendons, flexor digitorum superficialis tendons, and flexor pollicis longus tendon, and the median nerve. Some of the main causes are diabetes, obesity, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, and heavy manual work especially with vibrating tools.  

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The treatment I have been using is a combination of chiropractic manipulative therapy, instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and supplementation. With this combination, I have been able to take the patient from an 8/10 to 1/10 on the visual pain scale with almost no remaining symptoms.

The main chiropractic manipulation I use for carpal tunnel syndrome is called the opponens roll. The doctor takes a contact over the palmer side of the wrist and spreads the flexor retinaculum with a force applied. Patients get a lot of relief with this adjustment due to stretching of the flexor retinaculum and increased cross-sectional area of the carpal tunnel.

Acupuncture has also been a very effective tool in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome, especially with the pain and swelling. Some of the main points I have been using include: Liver 4, Lung (LU) 7, LU8, LU9, LU10, Pericardium (PC) 5, PC6, PC7, PC8, and Heart 7. 

Finally, I recommended that the patient supplement with pyridoxine or vitamin B-6. This has been shown to help with carpal tunnel syndrome by facilitating biosynthesis of pain-relieving serotonin, reducing excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a diuretic effect through inhibition of anti-diuretic hormone.