There is definitely a cause and effect relationship between the neck and the upper extremity. Meaning, at the base of your neck, is a network of nerves called the brachial plexus. These nerves innervate the upper extremity the shoulder, upper arm, the elbow, and all the way down into the wrist, hand, and fingers. A lot of carpal tunnel surgery has been deemed unnecessary, due to the fact that a lot of times (90%), the symptoms of the wrist, whether it’s pain, numbness, burning or pins and needle, isn’t actually coming from the wrist, but is coming from higher up in the kinetic chain, at the neck.
In fact, the term carpal tunnel is really a misnomer as in the majority of cases, it should really be called-“carpal-neckel.” Meaning if the patient received a chiropractic adjustment to the neck, in most cases this would correct the underlying cause of the problem, which is a pinched nerve in the neck. In Europe, carpal tunnel surgery has been banned, due to the fact that in a high percentage of cases (90%) carpal tunnel surgery does NOT work! In some cases, a misaligned wing-bone (scapula) could also affect the kinetic chain into the upper extremity, which could reflex down into the wrist. Also, some patients actually need their lunate bone adjusted in the wrist, which is a much more conservative, less invasive and less expensive alternative than doing surgery as a first-line-of-defense treatment. Of course, if this doesn’t work, then the patient could be referred for a surgical consultation. However in most cases, has been my experience after 28 years of practice, is that the conservative approach (chiropractic, physical therapy, and nutrition) does indeed work, making surgery unnecessary.