Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a medical condition that affects many people and around the world. It is often a work-related injury affecting adults that perform repetitive tasks with their hands. This includes people that work on computers for long periods of time and assembly line workers in various industries. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common injury that our chiropractors treat, especially when conventional medicine fails to provide help.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome refers to compression of the median nerve that runs from your forearm into your hand. The nerve gets compressed in a narrow tunnel in your wrist, known as the carpal tunnel. This tunnel consists of soft tissues, bones, tendons, nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Symptoms of CTS
When you have CTS, common symptoms include pain and weakness in the hand and wrist area that often results in numbness or tingling radiating up to the forearm. More specifically, the palm of your hand, thumb, middle fingers, and index fingers feel the bulk of the discomfort. Many CTS sufferers feel as though their hands and fingers are swollen and puffy, even though no swelling is evident. Without proper treatment from a chiropractor, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can make it difficult to form a fist, affect grip strength, and cause muscle wasting at the base of the thumb. Some CTS sufferers lose sensation in their hands and are no longer able to distinguish between hot and cold.
Some people have a higher likelihood of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because they have smaller carpal tunnels in their wrists than others. Smaller tunnels increase the likelihood of nerve compression increasing the risk of CTS. When diagnosing CTS your chiropractor will give you a physical examination to see if your symptoms fall in line with the injury. You’ll be asked to perform some rudimentary wrist exercises and they may try some specific pressure and compression tests to test the sensitivity of the nerve. You might also be required to have an x-ray or other imaging tests to rule out other wrist injuries or conditions.
Once the CTS diagnosis has been established you’ll have to rest the affected hand and wrist and possibly immobilize your wrist to prevent further damage. Applying ice to the area to reduce swelling may also be part of the treatment, depending on the severity of the condition. Joint adjustments and light stretching and strengthening exercises will likely be part of your chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors often find that the spine is also involved in causing this symptom. Each treatment is customized to suit the individual and with regular sessions your CTS pain and other symptoms should subside.
At Kalkstein Chiropractic, we have worked with a number of patients that suffer from this condition. We encourage you to contact us for more information.