Sep 2, 2016
The carpal tunnel is a thin pathway located in the wrist which allows the median nerve, which extends from the spine to the hand, to pass through. When the carpal tunnel is swollen, it causes compression on the median nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS can cut off or limit the feeling and movement to portions of the hand. Women are three times as likely to develop CTS, possibly based on the fact that most women’s carpal tunnels are smaller than men’s.
The exact cause of carpal tunnel is almost impossible to pinpoint, though there is research indicating that CTS is caused by repetitive motion like typing or factory work. Patients diagnosed with CTS often actually have arthritis, subluxations or disc degeneration in the cervical spine. Carpal tunnel’s syndromes usually include frequent burning, tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers. Symptoms can appear during the night, since many sleep with flexed wrists, and wake someone up with the need to “shake out” the hand or wrist. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp objects or perform other manual tasks.
An early diagnosis is the key to avoiding permanent damage to the median nerve. A physical examination of the hands, arms, shoulders and neck can help determine if the problem really is CTS or another underlying condition.
Non-invasive treatment is the best choice for CTS. A chiropractor can locate and study any potential interference in your spinal vertebrae that is causing nerve compression. If you leave CTS untreated, it can result in permanent damage to the hand or thumb.
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel
Chiropractic care for CTS will address the problematic wrist and elbow, as well as adjusting the upper spine. Your chiropractor may advise you to rest the afflicted arm, apply cold to reduce inflammation, perform therapeutic exercise or wear a splint and/or brace to immobilize the area. A common treatment for CTS will be realigned the spine, as its misalignment contributes to CTS.
Additional Non-Invasive Therapies
Ultrasound therapy is used with high-energy or low-energy sound to emit waves that penetrate deeply into the body tissue. The sound waves will relax muscles, alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Wrist supports are used to keep the wrist properly aligned after the adjustments are made and can also be used preventatively against future CTS injury.