Double crush syndrome occurs when the median nerve is irritated at two different location along the nerve path. To understand this syndrome, let’s take a look at the nerves in the body. The nerves are contained in the spinal cord. From the spinal cord, a nerve leaves the spine and travels to the different locations in the body, including the hands, feet, wrists, ankles, etc. Unlike carpal tunnel where the median nerve becomes irritated in the carpal tunnel, double crush syndrome occurs when the nerve is irritated in another location, such as the neck. This irritation can become so severe that the nerve can be easily damaged in another location such as the wrist.
Unfortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome can be misdiagnosed if the physician does not complete a neurological examination using proactive tests. Provocative tests can help determine if the irritation is caused by irritation of the median nerve or an irritation of a cervical nerve root. If the physician cannot determine the cause of the patient’s symptoms, an EMG (electromyogram) may be ordered. An EMG records electrical activity in the nerve cells to determine if there is nerve dysfunction. The procedure is done using a needle electrode that is inserted into the muscle to measure the electrical activity in the nerve or muscle.
There are several noninvasive therapies that can be used to ease the pain associated with both conditions. Some of these therapies include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome and double crush syndrome cause numbness, tingling and pain in the wrist, hand and fingers. Because both of these syndromes have the same type of symptoms, a misdiagnosis is possible. Finding a doctor who is knowledgeable on the proper diagnostic techniques is essential to getting an accurate diagnosis.
Our chiropractor specializes in carpal tunnel and other chronic pain conditions. Once a proper diagnosis is made, a treatment plan will be recommended. This treatment plan may include rest, physical therapy, chiropractic manipulations and cold laser therapy.
For more details on Functional Chiropractic Care, click here.