Treatments for a Pinched Nerve in the Wrist
Hello, this is Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and today I'm going to talk to you about treatments for a pinched nerve in the wrist. First of all, let's talk about the wrist and how you can develop a pinched nerve. Here is a model of, a human model of the wrist. There is actually 27 bones in the wrist and hand combined but right where the wrist bends back and forth there are eight bones and there are three main nerves that pass through that area. The median nerve is the main one and that one passes right through the center of the carpal tunnel. The ulnar nerve also passes through the front side of the wrist alongside the median nerve and the radial nerve passes along the backside of the wrist near the thumb. Now these three nerves, any of them can become pinched due to repetitive trauma, for example, if you type a lot or you use your hands forcefully. Maybe you use a jack hammer or you, even if you drive a lot and your hands are in an awkward position when you drive, there are so many things that you can do on a day-to-day basis that can put stress on these ligaments and muscles and nerves in the hand causing a pinched nerve. But let's look inside the wrist a little bit closer to see what's actually causing the pinched nerve. We talked about there's eight bones where your wrist bends, well those eight bones are arranged into a horseshoe shape. One of the most common conditions that you have heard about before which is actually a pinched nerve, is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is when you lose the healthy alignment of that arch of eight bones. You see the carpal tunnel has four sides to it. Three sides are made up of an arch work of bones and the fourth side is made up of a ligament. My finger right here represents the ligament overlapping the carpal tunnel. You can actually look through the carpal tunnel. It's about the size of an index finger. There are nine tendons and a large nerve down as the median nerve that goes through there. Now, due to repetitive motions, when these bones misalign, they pinch inward into the carpal tunnel and that flattens that nerve against this ligament. One of the most common treatments for this is surgery. Surgery, they cut this ligament. The goal is is cutting that ligament to open up both ends of the ligament creating more space for that median nerve to relieve the pressure and many patients report relief after a Carpal Tunnel surgery but the problem is that ligament support that arch work of bones. When they cut that ligament, you lose a lot of the strength and control in this wrist and as a result more conditions or more problems can develop such as arthritis between the joints of the hand. A lot of times after a surgery like a Carpal Tunnel Surgery, the symptoms may come back six months to a year or two later and you have the whole problem again a second time. So what are some other solutions you can do to reduce the pinched nerve in your wrist and hand? A brace is a common thing you can do right now. The main goal of the brace is not to cause pressure on the wrist, it's to reduce extreme ranges of motion. Extreme flexion or extreme extension can cause aggravation to this nerve. We want to avoid those ranges. So this brace is going to limit those ranges and allow you to work throughout the day without having that irritation force again and again on the nerve going through the wrist. Chiropractic manipulation of these wrist bones is the most effective way to regain that healthy alignment in that arch work of bones. Remember we showed you how the bones misaligned with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Well a simple chiropractic adjustment or series of adjustments to the wrist and hand area, can healthily realign those bones and take that pressure off the nerve to give you that healthy wrist and the feeling back to your hand again and that's how you can take the pressure off the pinched nerve in your hand. Again, this is Dr. Robert Fenell with handandfootpain.com, and I want to thank you for watching my video today on how to treat a pinched nerve in the wrist.