If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and have seen a doctor, you know all too well that they often prescribe you stretching exercises. Physical therapists also use a similar approach for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. In our wrist median nerve passes through a tunnel and when this tunnel gets affected it leads to the pinching of the nerve. These symptoms are referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome. There are three common reasons that lead to the constriction of the median nerve: misalignment of the wrist bones, swollen nerve sheath, inflammation and build up of scar tissue. As a result, doing stretching exercise helps with the opening of the tunnel allowing the nerve to glide freely within the tunnel.
While there are many exercises we do not know which ones work best to open up the tunnel and which ones are causing more harm. If you have been doing the wrong exercises, it will cause more pinching and the nerve could get elongated and damaged. Thus, the stretching exercises have the potential to cause more harm than good.
There is evidence from research showing that the starching exercises that are meant to help with the gliding of median nerve had the opposite effect altogether (J Orthop Res July 2007). Patients found the symptoms got worse with the exercise. They researchers’ examined wrist motion in the presence and absence of movements at the neighbouring joints. Their results have shown that when the elbow was bent (in flexion) while the wrist was extended, the nerve was less strained.
Have you been performing exercises for carpel tunnel syndrome and your pain has been getting worse? The exercises themselves could be causing more damage and pain among other factors.
The carpel tunnel syndrome can also result from the pinching of the median nerve at the neck. Similar to the wrist, the median nerve also passes through a tunnel between the bones, in this case the vertebra. When the nerve is pinched both at the wrist as well as the neck, the condition is referred to as the double-crush syndrome.
Unlike the doctors and physical therapists, Dr. Birk will do a physical examination of your neck and wrist as well as order imaging tests to accurately diagnose the cause behind the syndrome. Here at the clinic we believe that good care begins with the right diagnosis. Masking the symptoms through drugs will cause more long term damage and sometimes irreversible.
At Atlantis Chiropractic and Wellness, Dr. Birk offers a free consultation at no charge as well as he will take the time to address your health concerns. Please call us at 905-264-9355 to schedule your appointment today.