You’ve probably heard of carpal tunnel syndrome before, but do you know what it is? It is often identified by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the thumb, index, or middle finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves issues with the hands and wrists. It is becoming increasingly common due to the frequent use of mobile devices and computers.
Learn more about this commonly diagnosed syndrome and how chiropractic can help with the symptoms of CTS.
What is CTS?
Carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury, was named as such because of the anatomical structure. The bones in the wrist, called carpals, form a tunnel. The median nerve travels from the forearm to the hand through this carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is, therefore, an injury to this area of the body.
Often, the dominant wrist is the injured one, but in some patients, both left and right wrists are involved. Symptoms include pain and numbness in the index, middle fingers, and thumb. As well as tingling in the hand(s), weakness, and pain shooting up the arm.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused and worsened by repetitive motion and tasks, whereby the tendons in the carpal tunnel become swollen. This contributes to a pinched nerve in the carpal tunnel. Examples of repetitive motion include using a computer for long periods of time and performing a job on an assembly line.
Patients suffering from this condition are more often female than male. Middle age is the most common time in life for carpal tunnel syndrome to occur.
Many of the patients who seek chiropractic treatment for repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) do so because it is not nearly as invasive as other, more allopathic, treatments, which often rely on treatments such as medications.
Chiropractic Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The earlier that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome can be. Diagnosis includes a physical examination and possibly x-rays. Typically, the chiropractic treatment for CTS includes manipulation of the affected wrist and elbow. As well as manipulation of the upper spine. Spinal manipulation involves applying controlled pressure to a joint. The chiropractor may also advise the patient to rest the affected arm or wear a splint or brace to immobilize the area.
Some common treatments chiropractors use for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Manipulation of the wrist, arm, and upper spine. Misalignment in the spine could contribute to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractors perform adjustments that aim to correct improper alignment in the spine. The chiropractor typically performs an adjustment using his or her hands.
- Ultrasound therapy. This therapy uses either very high-energy or low-energy sound. Both of which are outside the range of normal human hearing. The chiropractor uses a device that emits focused sound waves that penetrate deep into body tissue. Sound waves can relax muscles, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation.
- Wrist supports. Wrist supports can keep the wrist in the proper alignment.
What Can Be Expected During the Healing Process?
Chiropractic is generally a relatively safe practice. It is a noninvasive treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, especially compared to treatment involving medications and surgery. Studies have shown improvement in symptoms of repetitive stress injuries as a result of chiropractic treatment. Some research has concluded that chiropractic can be just as effective as allopathic care for RSIs.
As with any medical treatment, the prognosis for resolution of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can vary from patient to patient. This is based on such factors as the nature and severity of the injury, and the age and overall health of the patient.
But in many cases, chiropractic treatment has helped patients struggling with this. Carpal tunnel patients must face the realities of modern-day society with its risks of conditions like CTS. But, chiropractic can provide hope for managing this condition.
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Near You
If you are looking to prevent or treat this injury, chiropractic may be the key. We at Mauricio Chiropractic have nine chiropractic clinics based in Orlando, Kissimmee, and Melbourne, FL. Schedule an appointment today and consult with one of our highly trained practitioners so we can get you back to feeling great!