Often I see people who have issues with their wrists and have no idea that chiropractic might help- after all, “chiropractors only work with spines, right?”
Working with the spine directly affects the nerve system. In this way chiropractors are more accurately ‘nerve system doctors’ than ‘back doctors’. Issues with the wrist are often nerve-related as well and can originate from several areas:
1. The Neck. Nerves leaving the spinal cord here travel into the hands and when spinal bones become misaligned here they can put pressure and irritation on these nerves.
2. The shoulder. If the bones that make up the shoulder become misaligned, it can create irritation to the nerves and blood vessels which travel into the wrist and hand.
3. The elbow and forearm. The ulna and radius bones can also become misaligned and cause issue to the blood vessels and nerves passing through this area. Overuse of the forearm muscles can also create tension which can affect the wrist and hand.
4. The bones of the wrist. These are called the carpal bones, and there’s 8 of them. Often they can also become misaligned from accidents or repetitive injuries (like keyboarding or mousing!) and put pressure on the median and ulnar nerves traveling into the hand. The tiny ligaments connecting them can also develop scar tissue as a result creating pain and a loss of motion in the wrist as well. Hairstylists often have big problems with this due to the way in which they use scissors repetitively!
5. The soft tissue of the wrist. Such as the transverse carpal ligament- which in what should be a last resort scenario of surgery is commonly cut in an effort to ‘release’ the nerves in this area.
So how can chiropractic help??
– At Progressive Chiropractic we will use video motion xray to assess the neck for subluxations, which are misalignments of spinal vertebrae which may be causing irritation to the nerves going to the hands. We then adjust these vertebrae back into proper alignment;
– We will then go through a protocol of testing muscles of the shoulder and the elbow to determine where misalignments of the bones of the shoulder are and adjust these misalignments back into place;
– Finally, we will testing the wrist for strength and misalignment and adjust the carpal bones to realign and increase motion in the wrist
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often misdiagnosed and treated with surgery- surgery that is irreversible, often unsuccessful, in some cases can create more problems and requires rehabilitation. This should be considered a LAST resort option.
Problems with the wrist may be less mysterious than they appear. If you or someone you know is suffering, there are options!