Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As chiropractors we know that if your hands have pain and tingling, that the first place to look is your neck, specifically in the area where your neck meets your shoulder. That is where the nerve roots come together and mix to form the nerves that travel into your arm. The area where the nerve roots come together is called the brachial plexus (on the right side of the picture). The brachial plexus divides into specific nerves such as the median and ulnar nerve.


Everyone has hit their funny bone at least once in their life so you know that pressure or a pinch of a nerve causes pain. From your neck to your wrist, there are many possible locations for nerves to be pinched. At the neck, a pinched nerve can occur between the vertebra (bones) of the neck, or where the nerve passes the first rib. As that nerve passes into the arm, it passes through several muscles before it enters the hand. If the nerve is already pinched at the neck, the “secondary stress” of compression within the arm muscles, or at the wrist, may cause symptoms at that second location. We call that second insult to the nerve a “double crush” syndrome. All your life that nerve has gone through the carpal tunnel with no problems but having extra irritation of the nerve someone else is enough to irritate the nerve at the carpal tunnel. As chiropractors when we adjust the neck and remove the irritation at the nerve roots, the secondary symptoms disappear. The nerve returns to normal and the irritation at the carpal tunnel goes away. This is true for entrapment syndromes that can occur at the shoulder and elbow and for the “carpal tunnel syndrome