Applied Kinesiology and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system for evaluating the three major components of any illness, condition, or disease. Applied Kinesiology has a basis in evaluating and supporting the structural, chemical, and emotional aspects of health.
Developed in 1964 by Dr. George Goodheart, Applied Kinesiology has found its way into many different medical offices. Medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, nutritionists, and even veterinarians have found the various tools and approaches of Applied Kinesiology to benefit their patients.
Applied Kinesiology, in conjunction with a proper physical exam, medical history, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic procedures, allows the health care provider another view of the patient’s presentation through manual muscle testing in an in office setting. Kinsiological testing of a patient, when performed with specificity and an understanding of human anatomy and physiology, provides the treating physician a version of biofeedback as the patients muscle function is altered due to the various challenges, corrections, and muscle tests are performed.
Although manual muscle testing is being performed when using Applied Kinesiology, the practitioner is not evaluating for the power that a muscle can produce, but rather evaluate how the nervous system controls muscle function. Applied Kinesiology is frequently called “Functional Neurology” for this reason.
The nervous system is a complex network of neurons and axons that constitute the primary signaling system in our body. Through the nervous system we control muscle activity of the skeletal and smooth muscles of our body, which in turn controls the way we walk, stand, throw a ball, and even how our heart beats, and how our bowels function. The nervous system also provides insight to the world around us. Sensory nerves interpret sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. When any of these nerves become stressed, or dysfunctional then a symptom has a chance of presenting. Applied Kinesiology provides another avenue for the health care provider to evaluate the various nerves of the body, and their immediate response to a specific stimulus.
Using the nervous system and manual muscle testing along with the clinical presentation of a patient, the Applied Kinesiologist is able to evaluate the specific structural, chemical, and emotional components to the presenting symptoms.
For example, a patient that presents with carpal tunnel syndrome will experience pain, weakness, numbness, tingling and other similar symptoms in the hand and forearm due to irritation of the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of trauma, but can present without any known cause. Traditional orthopedic tests used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome attempt to recreate the numbness, pain, weakness, etc through maneuvering the wrist in various positions. Occasionally x-rays will be taken, or electrical testing of the median nerve will be performed through needle EMG to assess the damage to the nerve. In addition to the aforementioned tests, an Applied Kinesiologist can evaluate for other contributing factors to carpal tunnel syndrome. From a nutritional standpoint, vitamin B6 deficiency has been shown to mimic the same symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Even though surgery, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, or another structural approach may provide temporary relief of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, they do not affect the nutritional deficiency that is possibly present. A B6 deficiency in relation to carpal tunnel syndrome is often accompanied by joint pain of the elbows, feet, and knees with swelling of the feet. For some patients, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of a nerve entrapment further away from the wrist. Nerves travel from the brain, down the spinal cord, out of spinal nerves, and through the extremities as peripheral nerves. The median nerve that is irritated in carpal tunnel syndrome can be affected at any part of the neurologic pathway. Nerve irritation at the neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist can all contribute to the presenting symptoms. In addition to nutritional and neurological sources of carpal tunnel syndrome, there are relationships between carpal tunnel syndrome and hypothyroid conditions. Applied kinesiology can also help to assess the relationship between carpal tunnel syndrome and hypothyroid conditions in conjunction with other diagnostic tests. A trained practitioner in Applied Kinesiology will be able to assess the patient, determine contributing factors to the presenting carpal tunnel symptoms, and use the patient’s ability to provide biofeedback to customize a treatment protocol specific to the patient’s needs.
Applied Kinesiology focuses on a global approach to health, and through assessing the structural, nutritional, and emotional aspects of the patient; the Applied Kinesiologist is able to identify other contributing factors to the patient’s presentation.
Dr. Chase Hayden has been studying and incorporating Applied Kinesiology for over 7 years. He has successfully helped many patients that experience musculoskeletal complaints involving the wrist and hand. Do you, or someone you know experience carpal tunnel, or another joint injury that would benefit from Applied Kinesiology evaluations? Contact The Hayden Institute today.