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.
Read on to learn more about this common syndrome and how chiropractic can help with CTS symptoms.
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.
It’s very common that the dominant wrist is the one injured, but for some patients, both 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
This 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. The most common age for CTS to occur is the middle age.
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 sooner CTS is diagnosed and treated, the better. Diagnosis includes a physical examination and possibly x-rays. Normally the treatment for CTS includes manipulation of the injured wrist up to the elbow. Manipulation of the upper spine is also part of it. The manipulation of the spine involves the application of controlled pressure on the affected 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. A misaligned spine can contribute to CTS symptoms. Chiropractors perform adjustments that aim to correct improper alignment in the spine. Usually the chiropractor will perform an adjustment using their hands.
- Ultrasound therapy. This is done by high or low-energy sounds. Both of these are outside of the human hearing range. This is a device that emits sound waves focused on penetrating into the body tissue. These sound waves can relax muscles as well as reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
- 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.
As with any medical treatment, the prognosis for resolution of this condition 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!