The carpal tunnel is a small circular structure located on the palm side of the wrist. Through it travels blood vessels, tendons and a large nerve, all of which fan out to supply the palm and fingers of the hand. When pressure increases inside this tunnel, the nerve is often the first structure to feel the effects leading to numbness, tingling and burning in the thumb and first three fingers. This is accompanied by stiffness and weakness of the hand and the pain is often worse at night. Other complications are swelling, limited motion of the wrist and fingers and inability to perform simple tasks such as picking up small objects.
There are several causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), but most cases are due to a reversible nutritional imbalance, overuse of the wrist, or injury. These factors contribute to the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome being recognized as the second most common type of occupational disorder.
Naturopathic physicians report a high level of success in reversing CTS through nutritional therapy, physical medicine and homeopathic treatment. Surgery is often recommended by some physicians even before more conservative natural treatments have been tried. Surgery is more expensive and carries with it a higher risk than natural therapies. Studies have shown that surgery offers no better success rate than natural therapy and recurrance rates are higher due to not treating the underlying cause.
Please ask your doctor for more information if you suspect that you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Dr. Tom Kruzel practices in Portland, Oregon and can be reached at (503) 667-1961