Over the years people have come to accept that hand and wrist pain, tingling, or numbness signals localized injury. In any case, hundreds of people get wrist surgery every year to relieve these symptoms – it therefore seems logical to suspect injury when these symptoms manifest.
What is not in the public arena is that many people who have undergone wrist and hand surgery continue to experience hand, wrist, and arm pain or tingling. Others only get temporary relief before the problem recurs with more intensity. Still, other patients develop symptoms similar to carpal tunnel syndrome following whiplash or neck sprain/strain. They may not have any wrist injury but still have severe pain in the hand. Why does this happen?
One explanation is a wrong diagnosis. Since the body is a complex network of joints, tissue, nerves, ligaments, muscle and other components, it is possible that a symptom evident at one part of the body may be caused by a trigger located in a different part of the body. This approach to healing is more holistic as opposed to the often disjointed medical view. Doctors tend to specialize in various body parts. Specialists are usually good at specific diseases and ailments but sometimes make the wrong diagnosis when multiple bodily systems are involved. Mark Twain had a saying for it: “When You’re A Hammer, All You See is Nails.”
More and more emerging research demonstrates this to be the case in carpal tunnel patients. Recent studies show that most carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are caused by muscle imbalances in your neck and shoulders, causing poor posture, trigger points, nerve compression and pain shooting down your arm.
We’ve turned into a more postural distorted society where we sit most of the day. People often go from their cars, to their desk and computer, back to their cars, and right plop into their couch. Raising the remote control is often the highest their arms get above throughout the day.
This lack of movement creates muscles imbalances, and most relevant to carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms is the rounding shoulders and forward head posture. When the shoulders round, and head moves forward, the muscles in the neck and shoulders compress nerves that run down the arm. This compression in the neck and shoulders typically produces hand, wrist and arm tingling, pain or numbness.
The same “computer” rounding shoulders and forward head posture cause the trigger points in the neck and shoulder muscles to activate and radiate pain down the arm. The “landmine” knots actually refer pain into the hand, wrist and arm causing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
This is why most hand, wrist, and arm tingling and pain, or “carpal tunnel syndrome” actually comes from the neck and shoulders.
Seeing a Neuromuscular Therapist for proper wrist and neck examination is the key to correct diagnosis. Poor examination leads to wrong diagnosis and unsuccessful treatment – in this case, surgery. Before you allow someone to cut into your flesh with a scalpel you should give neuromuscular therapy and posture realignment exercises a chance. If the symptoms in your wrist are caused by muscle imbalances, trigger points or postural distortions in your neck and shoulders, surgery to the wrist will prove to be unsuccessful treatment.
If you’re a Los Angeles hand, wrist or arm pain, tingling, or numbness sufferer or looking for a pain management or pain relief specialist, call now.