Thursday, April 30, 2015

Link between migraines and carpal tunnel

Plastic surgeons at the Univ of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have shown that migraines are twice as common in those with carpal tunnel syndrome than in those who don't have the wrist and forearm crippling disorder.

In the review of 25,880 cases (appearing in Plastic and and Reconstruction Surgery), 34% of those with carpal tunnel also reported migraines. Sixteen percent had migraines alone. Eight percent of patients with migraines--had carpal. Three percent of those with migraines had no carpal tunnel.

The scientists said they had theories but did not know why this would be true. If they could find the key, they said, they might be better able to diagnose or prevent.

They did add that it might be worthwhile for doctors to perform peripheral nerve compression exams on the head and neck of patients with migraines.

Although further studies are needed, it could be that migraines are an early indicator of future nerve compression problems such as carpal. Because migraines are more common in young people and carpal in older people, maybe the migraines sensitize the central nervous system to develop pain signals from later areas of compression.

These are common conditions affecting 6% (carpal) and 15% (migraines) of adults.

Basically it seems both involve squooshing of nerves--and may be found pretty often in the same person.

I know one person who has both--how about you?

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