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C

arpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that occurs when pressure is applied

to the median nerve as it passes through the wrist resulting in symptoms such as

tingling, numbness, and weakness. Outside of an emergency leading to a sudden

onset of such symptoms—like a broken wrist—surgery is rarely advised as a first-line

treatment. In general, treatment guidelines recommend exhausting all non-surgical op-

tions before consulting a surgeon. So, what happens when a patient consults a doctor of

chiropractic for CTS?

First, the patient completes paperwork regarding their current symptoms and their health

history. The information provided will inform the doctor about the chronicity, frequency,

and intensity of the patient’s symptoms. The history may also reveal conditions that are

known to contribute to an elevated risk for CTS

such as diabetes, birth control pill usage, preg-

nancy, hypothyroid, etc.

Next, the doctor of chiropractic will conduct a

thorough examination, with added focus on the

course of the median nerve. The median nerve

arises from the spinal cord in the neck as nerve

roots travel down through the shoulder, past

the elbow, and through the wrist. If the nerve is

compressed anywhere along this route, a patient

may experience CTS-like symptoms, so it’s im-

portant to locate where the nerve is “pinched” in

order to ensure the best chance for a positive out-

come. To complicate matters, the median nerve

may be compressed at several points, a condi-

tion referred to a double crush or multiple crush

syndrome. Not only that, but the median nerve

isn’t the only nerve that supplies sensation to the

hand. When entrapped, the ulnar and radial nerves can also produce symptoms in the hand and these symptoms can be

mistaken for CTS by the layperson because it’s the most commonly known peripheral neuropathy.

Once all the potential contributing factors to the patient’s hand and wrist symptoms are identified, the doctor of chiro-

practic will recommend a course of treatment that may involve manipulation, mobilization, therapeutic exercises, modali-

ties, wrist splinting, and even dietary recommendations, depending on the patient’s unique situation. The goal is to reduce

pressure on the median nerve by restoring normal motion in the affected joints, as well as in reducing inflammation that

may be present from a variety of causes.

While patients with more severe cases of CTS can benefit from non-surgical approaches, like chiropractic care, it’s

important to note that it may take longer for such patients to experience improvements in pain and disability, and it may

not be possible to totally reverse the course of the disease if it has progressed too far. As with many conditions, the sooner

a patient seeks care, the greater their chance for achieving a successful outcome.

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, deci-

sions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your up-

dated medical history. We provide a Free Monthly e-mail Newsletter For The Friends And Patients of Marc F. Wilkerson

D.C. to receive your weekly health updates and a Monthly Newsletter through e-mail please call the office @ 736-4537

or e-mail us at

info@wilkersonchiro.com

and send us your e-mail which will be held in confidence.

www.thelompocvision.com

The Lompoc Vision

“Good News You Can Use.”

12

Submitted by Dr Wilkerson D.C.

The Chiropractic Approach to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I

t’s time again to mark

your calendar for

the “Love Will Find

a Cure” Relay for Life

team’s annual benefit

fashion show and lun-

cheon.

The event will be held on

Saturday, April 4, at the

Lompoc Elks Lodge, 905

E. Ocean Avenue. There

will be a social time from 11:00-12:00, with the luncheon

beginning at 12:00 noon. A variety of wonderful raffle

items and door prizes will also be available.

“Love Will Find a Cure”

Relay for Life team

Local cancer survivors will be modeling fashions from

Deasee’s Boutique and will share stories of their fight

against cancer. Tickets are $40, with all proceeds going to

the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life is the signa-

ture fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

“The American Cancer Society is on a mission to save

lives and create a world with more birthdays. At Relay for

Life we celebrate loved ones who have won their battle

against cancer, remember those who are no longer with us,

and fight back against this disease that touches so many.”

Please help support the fight against cancer. For more

information and/or tickets, please contact Lu Knowles at

736-0049 or Diane Zemanovic at 737-0566. Reservations

by Friday, March 27.