Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not a doctor!” when trying to explain what is causing their pain?


Likewise, you may be experiencing severe pain, but have no idea where it is coming from or what is causing it. Many of our patients have attempted to diagnose the pain they are feeling. But to their surprise, they discover that the pain isn’t what they thought it was.


Below, we look at common pain areas and compare the source of the pain.

Wrist: Carpal Tunnel vs. Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that is caused by the body’s own immune system. This autoimmune disorder occurs in the hands when the body’s immune system attacks its own bodily tissues by mistake. It has a painful impact on the lining of the joints, causing swelling, bone erosion, and even joint deformities in severe cases.


Conversely, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused as a result of compression of the median nerve and wear and tear over time. This nerve extends from the forearm through the wrist and into the hand. Repetitive work, a wrist fracture, and chronic diseases like diabetes are risk factors for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome as well.


People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis often have joint pain in other regions of the body in addition to the hands. However, carpal tunnel syndrome pain is typically restricted to the hand, forearm, and shoulder. The tingling and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome distinguish themselves from rheumatoid arthritis pain because it often doesn’t affect the pinky finger as badly, it’s triggered by repetitive motion, and it extends up the forearm.

However, hand and wrist pain may also be attributed to an injury of the tendon, ligament, or bone or even a nerve problem in the fingers or neck. It is important to consult a trusted chiropractor to properly diagnose and recommend treatment for the precise hand and joint pain condition that one suffers from.

Pelvic Area: SI Joint vs. Sciatic Nerve

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction and Sciatica can often be confused with each other. This is because the pain tends to be similar.

The Sacroiliac joint can be found next to the base of the spine and above the tailbone. The Sacroiliac connects the sacrum (triangle bone at the bottom of the spine) to your pelvic bone.

The SI joint offers minimal movement. Instead, it provides strength and its ability to absorb the shock from your body movements. A change in the normal movement of the joint causes SI joint pain. If there is too much movement of the SI joint, it can cause inflammation leading to pain that is felt in the low back and pelvic area.

Sciatica, on the other hand, is caused by a compressed sciatic nerve root, not a joint problem. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs from the low back, down the buttock and down the back of each leg. Nerve roots branch out from different levels of the lower spine.


One side of the lower body is affected with a sharp pain radiating from the lower back, down the thigh, past the knee and down to the foot. Those who suffer from Sciatica also experience numbness in the leg, pins, and needles. The pain eases when the person is lying down or walking. The pain intensifies the person is standing or sitting down.

Knee: Runner’s Knee vs. Meniscus Tear

Although it’s common among runners, athletes of all kinds can be affected by runner’s knee, particularly those who play sports that involve repetitive use of the knee like soccer or basketball. Signs of runner’s knee include pain on the sides or front of the kneecap, grinding in the knee or stiffness, or increased pain or knee popping with movement. Runner’s knee occurs as the result of a bone or joint problem.


The meniscus is a rubbery, flexible piece of cartilage that provides cushioning between the bones in the knee. the meniscus functions to reduce shock and absorb the amount of impact on the leg and knee when in motion or standing, to provide stability to the knee, and to facilitate smooth motion between the surfaces of the knee.


A Meniscal tear usually occurs as a result of sports or injury such as impact, over rotation, or unexpected quick for. You can also experience meniscal tear due to a degenerative knee. As we age, the cartilage that the meniscus is made of becomes less resilient and rubbery, allowing for injury even when there is a less dramatic activity or impact.

Chiropractic Care for Wrist, Back, and Knee Pain

Bomberg Chiropractic offers chiropractic care for lower back pain treatment, spinal decompression, and wrist and knee problems. We serve clients throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.


To schedule treatment or an initial consultation, contact us at 763-450-1755, or you can message us at drb@bombergchiropractic.com.