Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel
For a vast majority of us, our hands are our livelihoods and so it is unfortunate that we often take them for granted. From the most complex of tasks like driving or typing, to the automatic motions like opening a door or tying shoe laces–our hands do a lot! But what happens when you do repetitive motions over and over again? You may start to feel numbing, tingling and/or pain in your hands, wrists or arms. These are hallmark symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) .
CTS occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand which houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to the index, middle, and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger). It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb. Sometimes, thickening from the lining of irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and compresses the median nerve. The result may be numbness, weakness, or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist (some people may feel pain in the forearm and arm). (source: NIH)
There are a variety of causes of CTS from conducting repetitive or awkward hand motions, such as those in specific lines of work (sewing, assembly, manufacturing, food processing, hair styling, cleaning), to hereditary factors. There are also non-occupational factors associated with other factors like arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, menopause, and wrist cysts. (source: ccohs.ca)
What are the treatments for CTS?
The good news is there are various things you can try to help alleviate the pain from CTS. Non surgical treatment include: wearing wrist splints or braces, taking NSAIDS, presciption medications like corticosteroids and chiropractic care.