What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the median nerve in the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is applied to the carpal tunnel, resulting from injury and repetitive motions. One of the most common injuries for developing this condition is typing on a keyboard or computer all day long.
The symptoms are typically pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in one hand with no other neurological problems. There are many different treatments available for dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome--some more invasive than others. Still, chiropractic care has proven to be an effective remedy without any harmful side effects!
In this article, we will discuss how chiropractic treatment can help with carpel tunnel syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually start gradually and include:
Pain and numbness in the hand:
Pain and numbness happen when the median nerve, which starts in the neck and runs down through the arm to provide feeling to one side of the hand, is compressed as it passes under a bone called carpal tunnel.
People with carpal tunnel syndrome may feel weak or have difficulty using their hands.
Tingling in the hand: It is common for people with carpal tunnel syndrome to feel tingling or numbness in their hands.
Risk Factor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrom
There are several factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although they may not directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase the risk of irritation or damage to the median nerve. These include:
- Anatomic: A wrist fracture, a repetitive hand motion, or arthritis in the carpal tunnel area may increase pressure on the median nerve.
- Medical conditions that affect blood flow to the arm: For example, diabetes and Raynaud's phenomenon can make people more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome because of decreased circulation.
- Sex: Women are more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
- Age: Carpal tunnel syndrome is most common in people age 45 and older but can also occur in younger people.
- Nerve damage: A chronic condition such as diabetes may lead to nerve damage in the arm, which can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Workplace Activities: Maintaining a steady job doing heavy machinery or work on an assembly line that requires constant use of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing damage to it, especially if done in below-average temperatures.
How to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The key to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome is regular stretching and avoiding repetitive gripping actions, which may be stressful on the tendons in your hand that lead into your arm where these end at the elbow with tendonitis (inflammation of those fingers).
Wrist splints are usually only used when there has already been some damage caused by repetitive movements in the hands and wrists; they don't prevent injury from happening.
You can also minimize stress on your hands and wrists with these methods:
- Use your muscles to move the fingers and thumbs in a circular motion; hold for 15 seconds. Repeat this exercise three or four times during the day.
- Practice overhand grip strengthening exercises by squeezing a tennis ball as hard as you can, then releasing it with an overhand grip that is not too tight but does put pressure on the palm of your hand. Repeat 20 times each session, twice daily for two minutes at a time.
- Workplace Adjustments: When possible, do tasks involving repetitive wrist movement using larger arm movements instead of smaller finger movements from those wrists - this will help reduce stress on the median nerve.
Stretch Your Hands Regularly
One of the first things people with carpal tunnel can do is to stretch their hands. Stretching helps maintain and strengthen muscles in your hands, wrists, arms, neck, and shoulders and keeps you limber!
Stretch your fingers by making a fist while holding both thumbs to one side. Do this for 15 seconds on each hand, then repeat three or four times during the day.
Keep fingers, wrists, and hands flexible by periodically stretching them gently. Stretch the fingers and hands for a few minutes each hour.
Numbness: If numbness has been present in either thumb or index finger for more than
Improve your posture.
Using lousy posture can overstretch your neck muscles, causing them to compress nerves in your neck and affecting the health of both wrists and fingers.
Change your computer mouse.
Use an ergonomic mouse when typing. Also, adjust your computer screen and chair height. Consider using a wrist rest to avoid awkward arm positioning while typing.
Keep your hands warm.
Exposure to cold environments can lead to hand pain and stiffness. To avoid this, wear fingerless gloves at all times when exposed.
How Chiropractors can help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While surgery is an option for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, chiropractors prefer a less-invasive approach to treating carpal tunnel. Chiropractors provide a holistic approach to treatment, addressing the root of your pain rather than just treating its symptoms. Here are five ways chiropractic treatments can help with carpal tunnel syndrome:
Adjusting your spine by making minor adjustments in the vertebrae can allow for better blood flow and reduce nerve pressure. Chiropractic adjustments are an inexpensive way to manage carpal tunnel symptoms that don't require surgery or medications!
Joint Mobilization Therapy
Provide joint mobilization therapies like ART (Active Release Technique) which helps relieve chronic inflammation around joints resulting from injury or overuse.
Most people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome don't seek treatment because they are afraid of what their doctor will say. Their fear is understandable because most doctors will recommend surgery as the only solution to this problem.
Surgery isn't your only option for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, though many other treatments are available, including chiropractic care! Chiropractic care has an excellent track record of treating carpal tunnel syndrome without any side effects such as pain and scarring associated with surgery.
The Wright Start Chiropractic offers natural non-surgical solutions for all types of neck and back problems, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact us today. You'll be glad you did.
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