Layman terms describes Carpal Tunnel syndrome as a condition causing spontaneous numbness and/or pain in the hand, wrist, neck, shoulder as well as burning between your shoulder blades and tingling down into your hands.
Many medical practitioners mistakenly diagnose pain that shoots down the arm into the hand and wrist as carpal tunnel syndrome. Often surgery is recommended when the actual cause of pain has nothing to do with the nerve but has everything to do with muscle imbalances that lead to poor posture and trigger points mimicking “carpal tunnel like” symptoms.
One muscle group is your Scalene muscles. These are muscles that are at the source of a lot of the pain that travels all the way down your arm into your hands. These muscles get tight with many trigger points causing numbness and burning into your hand. These muscles are at the front of your neck. They cause a burning and tightness between your shoulder blades.
The subscapularis is a muscle in your shoulder and it causes a lot of pain down your arm into your hand, namely into your wrist. That muscle is deep in your rotator cuff and it also gets tight because of rounding of shoulders at the computer desk. It radiates pain into your wrist. Sometimes you have to move and take off your watch or bracelet into the other hand because you have this pain in the wrist and may think you have carpal tunnel syndrome, but it’s really coming from your shoulders because of this muscle, the trigger point, radiating pain down your arm.
The pectoralis minor is a little muscle underneath your Pectoral Major, which is the big pectoralis muscle. It attaches into ribs three, four and five. The Pectoralis Minor radiates pain all the way down your arm and also into the chest. It can be so severe that sometimes people think they are having a heart attack. The pain is not caused by a nerve but rather because the muscle has trigger points that radiate pain down into your arm, chest and hand.