Carpal tunnel syndrome and Pregnancy: Chiropractic topics

Carpal tunnel is a condition commonly seen by Chiropractors. The nerve that is impinged in carpal tunnel is called the Median nerve. The Median nerve originates from the lower part of the neck and ends in the hand. The Median nerve enters the hand through the carpal tunnel-a bony trough covered with a stout fibrous roof (called a flexor retinaculum). There are nine different tendons in the carpal tunnel which is located on the palm side of the hand. The tendons primarily flex the fingers. In the carpal tunnel there is no room for the tissues to expand and any swelling of the tendons or ligaments compresses the Median nerve.
The most common overall cause of carpal tunnel is fluid retention of which the most common cause is pregnancy. Overuse of the flexor tendons from work or recreation is another very common cause of carpal tunnel. Rheumatoid arthritis and fractures of the wrist are other conditions which may aggrevate carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel and Median nerve compression can cause numbness (paresthesia) in the Median nerve distribution which is the front of the thumb, index finger, middle ringer and half of the ring finger. The palm is not involved in carpal tunnel due to the fact the palmar branch of the median nerve branches off before going through the carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel symptoms are worse at night often waking a person up to shake the hands. Shaking relieves the numbness but may be replaced by pain which may be felt as far up as the elbow. The little finger is not involved in true carpal tunnel syndrome. Advanced carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause the muscles of the thumb to shrink (atrophy).
The primary Chiropractic technique in treating carpal tunnel is myofascial release. Myofascial release is able to successfully treat inflammed tendons and is effective in conditions which involve overuse of the flexor tendons from occupational or sports activities.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of experience. His Chiropractic practice focus includes treatment of sports injuries and chronic overuse conditions of the tendons such as carpal tunnel.

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Curves of the Spine, Scoliosis, and Chiropractic

The mid back or thoracic spine is has a normal slight curve called a kyphosis. Many patients seeking the care of a Chiropractor are concerned that their curve is not normal. There are several types of conditions that can cause an increased curve in the mid back. Round back is a condition in which the pelvis is slightly tilted back. In this condition the lower back has less of curve giving the impression of a curved spine. Flat back is a similar condition. A small area protruding from the spine in the mid back is called a gibbus. Usually a gibbus is a small area just about the size of the palm of the hand. Gibbus is also called hump back. Gibbus may be a serious condition and should be immediately checked out due to the fact it may be linked to infections of the spine. Osteoporosis may also cause an excessive curve of the mid back in a condition known as a Dowager’s hump.
As a rule the lower the area of the outward bump (kyphosis) in the mid back the more stuck or unmoveable the bump tends to be. Often an overly curved mid back can lead to a scoliosis as well.
Scoliosis may be the result of poor posture and be easily remedied by postural changes however some scoliosis have no known cause. Some conditions of the spine are known to cause scoliosis (wedge vertebrae or congenitally fused segments).
Some older persons may develop scoliosis in advanced age which may be the result of posture and mild scoliosis in adolescence.
Scoliosis is a condition in which there are one or more curves to the side in the thoracic (mid back) or lumbar (lower back) spine.
Rib humping is common in more marked types of scoliosis. Rib humping is often the most visible indicator that a scoliosis is present.
The key test in determining if a scoliosis is severe or able to be treated with conservative methods (such as Chiropractic) is to bend at the waist. If a scoliosis curve disappears as a person bends at the waist it is generally considered to be a mild scoliosis and to have more of a functional component as opposed to a structural component in which there are abnormalities in the spine. A curve that disappears with bending at the waist is a good candidate for Chiropractic management of the scoliosis.
Dr. Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of Chiropractic practice experience. He is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and currently practices in Lenexa, Kansas.

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Mid Back pain and Chiropractic

The mid back or thoracic spine is a common site of pain that causes people to consult a Chiropractor. The mid back is less often the site of acute pain than the neck or lower back. Mid back pain may be due to joints, muscles or the internal organs. Pain in the mid back is said to arise mainly from three sources: the ribs, spine or abdomen. The mid back is the most rigid part of the spine due to the stabilizing effect of the ribs. The discs of the mid back are also thinner and less moveable than in the lower back. Rarely do the discs of the mid back herniate in a way that causes pain or nerve impingement.
It is normal to have a slight protrusion of the spine in the mid back. The curve of the mid back is called a kyphosis. Some Chiropractic patients worry that they have a hump but a small curve is normal. In such conditions as osteoporosis the curve may become overly accentuated and in extreme cases may be known as a Dowager’s hump.
Pain in the thoracic spine is often very easily treated with Chiropractic methods. Chiropractic adjustments seek to increase the motion of joints that are stuck and causing pain. The ribs are another common cause of mid back pain. Often ribs will cause a sudden pain in the mid back that is often sharp and is sometimes refered to as “a screwdriver sticking” in the back. Often rib pain is easily treated with Chiropractic adjustments. Pain in the scapula or shoulder blade area is also associated with gall bladder conditions.
It is also common to have trigger points in the muscles with thoracic spine pain. The rhomboid muscles which connect the spine to the shoulder blade are a frequent site of trigger points. Myofascial release is a very effective chiropractic technique in dealing with trigger points in the rhomboid muscles.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain, whiplash and sports injuries.

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Tingling hands and carpal tunnel, Chiropractic treatments.

Pain and tingling are common symtoms that cause people to seek Chiropractic care for carpal tunnel syndrome. Pain is a sign of nerve irritation and tingling is a sign of nerve regeneration. The point a nerve becomes irritated is usually a point of localized pain (such as in the forearm for pronator teres syndrome). The pain may extend along the course of the nerve but is most intense over the area of irritation. This type of pain may also be felt into the muscles.
Nerve regeneration and tingling is usually not a painful process but is often described as a vaguely disagreeable feeling. The sensation is often felt along the surface of the skin and usually not into the muscles.
It is also worthwhile to note that pain and tingling usually are not felt simultaneously.
In persons suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome pressure over the carpal tunnel may produce either tingling which indicates nerve regeneration or pain which may indicate nerve degeneration.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. His Chiropractic practice focus is back pain, neck pain and sports injuries.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome and Chiropractic

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common complaint in the Chiropractic office. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the Median Nerve. The median nerve originates in the lower part of the neck and runs down the arm and into the hand. The median nerve may be compressed at several locations. The muscle in the forearm called the pronator teres is one such location. In the carpal tunnel ( wrist ) the median nerve is fairly unprotected and vulnerable to compression. One of the first symptoms of carpal tunnel is a lack of ability to oppose the thumb. Later there may be numbness or pain in the hand. As carpal tunnel progresses the pain may even radiate into the forearm or shoulder.
Orthopedic testing done by a Chiropractor may be able to determine if pain is due to carpal tunnel or a vascular condition. Carpal tunnel generally effects the palm of the hand and involves the median nerve. The Ulnar nerve is the funny bone nerve and supplies the little finger and half of the ring finger. The ulnar nerve is not compressed in Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dr. Tom Etter has over ten years of Chiropractic experience. He is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. Etter’s practice focus includes the treatment of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

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