Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many people injure their arms and hands doing repetitive activities like typing on a computer or mobile device.

Their MD looks at their hands, asks a couple of questions, has them squeeze his hand and tells them they have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Having been in practice for about 30 years, I have seen less than 10 cases of true CTS.

The arms and hands are under the control of nerves that start between the vertebrae in the neck. Often, there is a problem with the joints of those vertebrae that can affect the shoulder, arm, hand as well as the neck itself! Sometimes there is irritation to nerves as they pass through the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. This can affect sensation, causing numbness and tingling. It also can affect motor function—this may cause weakness of the affected muscles, in effect, turning them off! One would experience this as profound weakness, usually of the hand muscles, making it increasingly difficult to open a jar or even grab the milk from the fridge.

These conditions usually respond quickly and strength and normal feeling return. Surgery is rarely needed and is often a cause of more problems that cannot be reversed. Drugs can’t return one’s spine or other joints to normally functioning parts of your living machine either!