If you are having pain, tingling, or numbness in your arm or hand, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there is no need to worry about it as this condition is quite common. A study by American Family Physician revealed that around 3 to 6 percent of adults suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
You may know that doctors sometimes suggest aggressive treatment methods such as surgery and steroid injections. But if you are one of those patients who worry about the consequences and risks of such approaches, it is better to go with conservative treatments. Such methods will help alleviate the symptoms of the condition without any complications associated with intensive therapy. Chiropractic care is considered the finest method of treatment as it provides safe and effective therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Before jumping directly to find what methods does a chiropractor use for carpal tunnel? Let us learn more about this condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition affecting the hand and wrist, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist, is exposed to increasing pressure. The thumb, index, middle fingers, middle fingers, and half of the ring finger are all provided with sensation by this nerve. The tiny finger, sometimes known as the ‘pinky,’ is usually unaffected.
Carpal tunnel syndrome was initially identified in the mid-nineteenth century. In the 1930s, the first carpal tunnel release surgery was performed. It’s a condition that orthopedic surgeons have known about for over 40 years.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome generally start gradually. These are some common symptoms of the condition.
You may feel numbness or tingling in your hand or fingers. Except for the little finger, the thumb, index, middle, or ring fingers are generally affected. People sometimes feel a sensation like an electric shock in their fingers.
Your wrist may feel tingling while the sensation may extend up your arm. Moreover, such symptoms frequently occur while holding a newspaper, phone, or steering wheel. People also observe the sensation when they wake up from sleep. Many individuals generally ‘shake out’ their hands to get rid of their symptoms. However, the numb feeling may become constant after some time.
Weakness is also one of the major symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. You will feel weakness in the pinching muscles and numbness in your hand caused by immense pressure on the median nerve.
The carpal tunnel is a thin, stiff channel at the base of the hand made up of bones and ligaments. The carpal tunnel also houses the median nerve and tendons.
The carpal tunnel might narrow when the tendons become irritated and inflamed or when additional swelling places pressure on the median nerve.
The median nerve controls sensations in the palm, thumb, and three other fingers. The median nerve also controls the muscle that sends the thumb across the palm to touch the little finger. The little finger is not under its control.
Pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand and wrist can result from pressure on this nerve, extending up the arm and even to the shoulder.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur for a variety of reasons. However, it is more likely if the person routinely employs in tasks that require wrist mobility, is exposed to vibration, and uses their fingers repeatedly, such as when typing. The following are the common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are multiple factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. However, they may not directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome but generally, increase the risk of damage or injury to the median nerve. Let us find some of the major risk factors.
Women are more likely to be diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome as compared to men. This could be due to the fact that women’s carpal tunnels are smaller than men’s. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects women differently than it affects males. Women with carpal tunnel syndrome may have smaller carpal tunnels than women without the illness.
A wrist fracture or dislocation and arthritis that deforms the small bones of the wrist can modify the space within the carpal tunnel, putting pressure on the median nerve. People with smaller carpal tunnels are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
A few chronic conditions such as diabetes can increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve.
Working with vibrating equipment or in an environment that needs lengthy or repetitive wrist flexing can put undue strain on the median nerve or aggravate nerve damage, especially if the activity is done in a cold environment.
Several studies reveal a connection between carpal tunnel syndrome and the use of medicines such as anastrozole (Arimidex), a medicine used to treat breast cancer.
Fluid retention can cause irritation to the median nerve by increasing pressure within the carpal tunnel. During pregnancy and menopause, this is a common occurrence. Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by pregnancy usually improves on its own once the baby is born.
Studies show that conditions such as menopause, kidney failure, thyroid disorders, lymphedema, and many more may increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, studies are underway; therefore, these factors are still not regarded as the direct causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
A number of studies have established a link between computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome. According to some data, the problem may be with mouse use rather than keyboard use. However, despite the fact that excessive computer use may produce a different type of hand pain, there isn’t enough quality and consistent evidence to support it as a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome.
There are no scientific ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but you can minimize the level of stress by making lifestyle changes. Furthermore, carpal tunnel syndrome is less likely to occur if you treat illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Let us look at some of the best ways to reduce your risk.
Stretch and bend your hands and wrists gently on a regular basis. When possible, switch tasks. This is especially critical if you’re working with equipment that vibrates or demands a lot of force. It only takes a few minutes every hour to make a difference.
Incorrect posture causes your shoulders to roll forward, weakening your neck and shoulder muscles and pinching your neck nerves. This can cause pain in the wrists, fingers, hands, and neck aches.
If your work requires you to use a cash register or a keyboard, for example, strike the keys gently. Use a large pen with a larger, comfortable grip adapter and free-flowing ink for long-term handwriting.
If you work in a cold workplace, you’re more likely to suffer hand pain and stiffness. Put on fingerless gloves that keep your hands and wrists warm if you can’t manage the temperature at work.
Ensuring that your computer mouse is quite comfortable and doesn’t strain your wrist is quite important.
Avoid completely bending your wrist up or down. The optimal position is in the middle, relaxed. Keep your keyboard at or slightly below elbow height.
Carpal tunnel syndrome will deteriorate over time for most people without treatment, despite the fact that it is a progressive process. As a result, it’s critical to have your doctor evaluate and diagnose you as soon as possible. It may be feasible to delay or stop the progression of the disease in its early stages.
The intensity of your symptoms determines whether you should have surgery. Surgery may be needed to prevent permanent damage in long-term situations of continuous numbness.
A ‘carpal tunnel release’ is a surgical treatment used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. There are two alternative surgical procedures for this, but both aim to relieve pressure on your median nerve by removing the ligament that forms the tunnel’s ceiling. This expands the tunnel and relieves the pressure on the median nerve.
When done on an outpatient basis, the canal tunnel surgery can be performed under general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep, or under local anesthetic, which will only numb your hand and arm. An intravenous (IV) line put into a vein in your arm may be used to administer a gentle sedative in some instances. Let us find out more about different types of carpal tunnel release.
Open Carpal Tunnel Release
During open surgery, a small incision will be made by your surgeon in the palm of your hand. Then they will examine the inside of your hand and wrist through it. Your doctor will divide the transverse carpal ligament or the roof of the carpal tunnel during the treatment. This expands the tunnel and relieves the pressure on the median nerve.
The ligament may gradually heal after surgery, but the carpal tunnel will have more space, and the strain on the median nerve will be relieved.
Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release
During endoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes one or two small skin incisions called portals and examines your hand and wrist with a miniature camera called an endoscope. Similar to the open carpal tunnel release operation, a special knife separates the transverse carpal ligament.
Both the surgeries deliver similar results. They have their own set of benefits and risks. However, your surgeon will discuss the finest surgical procedure with you.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can typically be alleviated without surgery if recognized and treated early. If your doctor is unsure about your diagnosis or minor symptoms, nonsurgical treatment will be recommended initially. Now you must be wondering how can a chiropractor help with carpal tunnel syndrome?
Chiropractors can accurately diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition can be difficult to diagnose because the exact reason is often unknown, but chiropractors specialize in nerve entrapment diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, safe alternative to traditional medical care that reduces the need for drugs and their associated negative effects. Chiropractic treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome can assist in lessening inflammation and pain. Furthermore, they can do more than simply cure the symptoms.
Chiropractor for carpal tunnel syndrome has expertise in ergonomics and correct mobility. These experts can help you figure out what you’re doing to cause carpal tunnel syndrome in the first place. They can also advise you on how to alter your movements in the future to protect your wrists. You might be able to pick up new skills that will help you reach your objectives without risking injuries.
Major Wrist Exercises To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By alleviating pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, specific exercises can help relieve discomfort, numbness, and other symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. These exercises help in improving range of motion and hand function. These exercises include.
Wrist Extension Stretch
It is generally performed by straightening the arm and bending the wrist backward as if signaling someone to come to a halt, then pulling the palm back with the other hand and holding for around 15 seconds.
Wrist Flexion Stretch
Simply straighten the arm with the palm facing down and the wrist bent so that the fingers point to the floor; slowly draw the hand towards the body and hold for 15 seconds.
If you have been searching for the best carpal tunnel chiropractor near me but have not been able to find one, visit the Realign Spine website. Chiropractic treatment at Realign Spine can treat your condition by addressing its underlying causes. Our chiropractors can assess if issues with your upper spine, often known as your cervical spine, are causing carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Furthermore, they will focus on alleviating nerve pressure. If your problems are caused by pressure in the carpal tunnel, we may suggest moderate wrist or elbow manipulation.
Realign Spine provides the finest chiropractic and spine-related services at the most affordable prices. We treat conditions such as herniated disc, sciatica, spinal stenosis, text neck, neck bump, scoliosis, and many more. Visit the website if you wish to know more about non-surgical and drug-free treatment.