For years we believed that carpal tunnel syndrome was a repetitive stress injury stemming from overuse of the hands, wrists and fingers, particularly from spending long hours at the computer keyboard. But a recent study from Harvard casts doubt on this notion and suggests that most people who develop CTS are genetically predisposed to do so, perhaps because of the structure of their hands and wrists.  (Researchers led by David Ring, M.D., an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, published in the February 2007 issue of Human Factors: the Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.)

 CTS

Another new slant on CTS came from ergonomics researchers at the University of California at San Francisco and McMaster University in Canada, who concluded that the angle of wrist flexion can increase pressure on the median nerve and established limits on how much the wrist can be flexed in each direction before nerve damage sets in. The study was published in the February 2007 issue of Human Factors: the Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

 

My take on this, after many years in practice, seeing CTS often respond well to gentle, specific Activator adjustments, is that structure = function. If the bones are not aligned properly, it can put pressure on the median nerve, and removing that interference, improves function. If Activator adjustments don’t alleviate the problem, I refer to a hand therapist. Another non-drug, non-surgical approach is to supplement with B6. Studies have shown that you may need to take megadoses of B6 (50 mg or more/ day) for 60-90 days before you can evaluate its effectiveness. Below is the dosage which Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, recommends.

 

“ The most effective treatment that I’ve found is B-6 or pyridoxine, 100 mg two or three times a day. At this dosage, B6 acts as a natural therapeutic agent for nerve compression injuries. (B6 at doses higher than 300 mg a day have caused nerve damage in a few individuals; discontinue use if you develop any unusual numbness.)”