Carpal Tunnel

Dr. Mark Armbruster D.C. of the Denver Vitality Center in Lakewood, CO has been practicing the art of mind/body healing since 1987. His training, background, and experience provide his patients with a very personal and effective treatment for carpal tunnel pain.

Carpal Tunnel Q&A

by Mark Armbruster, D.C.

What is Carpal Tunnel?

This is a hand and arm condition, known also as carpal tunnel syndrome that causes tingling, numbing, and other symptoms. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of the wrist that is bound by bones and ligaments. The tunnel protects a main nerve to the hand and the tendons that bend the fingers. When these nerves are compromised, the result is carpal tunnel syndrome.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

There are several factors that contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome which can include the anatomy of a patient’s wrist, certain underlying health problems, and patterns of hand use.

When nerves are compressed in the wrist the result can be numbness, tingling, and hand weakness that that is characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome.

How is Carpal Tunnel Diagnosed?

One or more of the following tests are used to determine whether a person has carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • History of symptoms - The pattern of your the signs and symptoms of a person’s wrist pain can offer clues to their cause.
  • The timing of the symptoms - Usual times when a person experiences symptoms due to carpal tunnel include while holding a newspaper or phone, gripping a steering wheel, or waking up with pain during the night.
  • Physical examination - The doctor tests the feeling in a patient’s fingers and the strength of their muscles.
  • Pressure on the wrist’s median nerve - This is produced by tapping on the nerve, bending the wrist, or pressing on the nerve, that can bring on the symptoms in many patients.
  • X-ray - Sometimes x-rays of the affected wrist are used to eliminate other causes of wrist pain, such as a fracture or arthritis.
  • Electromyogram - A test measures the tiny electrical discharges produced in muscles. This test evaluates the electrical activity of muscles when they are at rest and when they contract. It can determine if muscle damage has occurred and at times, rules other conditions.

Can Carpal Tunnel Be Treated Without Surgery?

For most patients, proper treatment relieves the numbness and tingling and restores the wrist and hand.

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