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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Sufferers Find Relief With Upper Cervical Chiropractic

By Dr. Erin L. Elster, D.C.

Many people aren't aware of the relationship between upper cervical (neck) trauma and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS.)  With all that modern science has accomplished, there are still more unanswered questions than answered ones.  This is also true in the case of CTS research.  It's been difficult to pinpoint the exact reason(s) why certain people suffer from CTS; however, research is beginning to point toward upper cervical trauma as an underlying cause.

The upper cervical area of the spine refers to the two vertebrae located at the top of the spine, directly underneath the head.  C1 (known as Atlas,) along with C2 (known as Axis,) are chiefly responsible for the rotation and flexibility of the head and neck.  Like the rest of the vertebrae, they are extremely vulnerable to injury and trauma, especially trauma to the head through auto or sporting accidents.

Because so many nerves transmit through the cervical region (to and from the brain,) trauma to this area results in problems throughout the body.  This is where the relationship between the upper cervical area and CTS becomes evident. If these vertebrae become displaced, even slightly, impingement of the nerves involved in CTS can occur.  Unless the neck injury is addressed, CTS symptoms persist. 

Chiropractic care involves correcting the position of these injured cervical vertebrae, particularly C1 and C2.  Realigning these vertebrae may reduce or eliminate CTS symptoms.

CTS results from impingement of the Median Nerve, which runs from the neck, down the arm, then through bones in the wrist (carpal tunnel), to supply the hand and thumb. Irritation to this nerve often results in numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and thumb, loss of grip strength in the hand and thumb, and pain / numbness radiating from the neck and arm.

Many cases of CTS are successfully treated with upper cervical chiropractic care.  The number of treatments required per individual varies according to the severity of the cervical injury and symptoms.  A first visit to a chiropractor usually involves a spinal exam and diagnostic tests such as x-rays.  From there, the practitioner will determine a care plan.  Patients usually notice an improvement in symptoms during the first days or weeks of treatment.

Dr. Erin Elster is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor.  For more information about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, please contact Dr. Elster in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii at 808-866-6551 or www.erinelster.com.