A popular response to neck pain is taking drugs to cover up the problem (aspirin, analgesics, pain pills) or treating its symptoms (muscle relaxers, massage, hot packs). But neck pain isn't caused by a lack of aspirin or drugs! The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate its underlying cause. This begins with a complete case history and thorough examination. Special attention is given to the structure and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.
Is the proper spinal curve present? Are the nerve openings between each pair of spinal bones free and clear? Is the head balanced? Are the shoulders level? These and other considerations are used to create a plan of specific chiropractic adjustments to help improve the motion and position of spinal vertebrae. With improved structure and function, neck pain often diminishes or totally disappears without addictive drugs or harmful side effects!
Due to years of exposure emphasizing the concept, people have come to believe that if they are not in pain then they are healthy. To take this to the extreme would mean that not being told you have glaucoma means your eyes are healthy since you have no symptoms. This line of reasoning can be very costly indeed.
Proper Pain Treatment
Science defines pain as a sensation of discomfort, distress or suffering. The degree of pain can actually be measured. For example while childbirth might average 10 units of pain, a toothache might average only 2. Although the degree of pain a person experiences can be scientifically monitored and measured, this still does not explain exactly what pain is.
To start with, pain is a warning! It is a signal of malfunction of some vital body circuitry; a message that something is wrong. Even though the presence of pain means something is wrong, the absence of pain does not necessarily mean we are healthy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most often caused by pressure on the median nerve just above the wrist. The Carpal Tunnel is named for the area of your wrist containing the carpal bones(shown as pale yellow), the transverse carpal ligament (blue), the median nerve (yellow) and the tendons (red) controlling finger and hand movement. Pressure on the median nerve may occur due to injury (for example, a sudden bending back of the wrist) or sustained pressure from activities like typing/keypunching, chopping, hammering or pushing.
Some physicians might prescribe medications and/or inject cortico-steroids which many temporarily alleviate pain and swelling, but does not often treat the actual problem, the symptoms usually return. Or, your doctor might recommend surgery especially in extreme cases. However, surgery may lead to scarring of the transverse ligament. The scars can further irritate the median nerve causing the symptoms to reoccur. Surgery may also weaken the ligament and should only be considered if conservative treatment fails to correct the problem.
Am I at Risk?