What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How Can Chiropractic Help?
When people think about a chiropractor, they usually think about a health care professional who specializes in helping people with back pain, spinal cord issues, and alignment problems. Even though chiropractors see these type of health problems, they also help treat other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. With the rise of mobile devices, computers, and the internet, carpal tunnel syndrome is rising in frequency. Those who suffer from this syndrome might have trouble completing their daily routines, keeping up with school, or keeping up with work. As a result, it is important for everyone to know what carpal tunnel syndrome is and how a chiropractor can treat it.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an issue that impacts the wrist. Many people do not realize just how much they use their wrist throughout the course of the day. The wrist is used to eat, write, type on the computer, and use cell phones. As a result, the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the wrist have to work hard. If one specific nerve, called the median nerve, is overworked, this can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
The median nerve is responsible for providing motor and sensory innervation to the palmar side of the hand. Specifically, this nerve innervates the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If someone develops carpal tunnel syndrome, then the median nerve is inflamed. Inflammation, overuse, and damage to the forearm can cause the carpal tunnel, through which the median nerve passes, to swell. As a result, the nerve is compressed, leading to nerve irritation and the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some of the most common symptoms people will notice with carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Numbness and tingling in the forearm, palm, thumb, index finger, and middle finger
- Shooting pains that travel down the forearm into the hand
- A feeling of weakness in the forearm, hand, and fingers
In general, the symptoms are going to get worse when people try to use the wrist. This could include playing the piano, playing tennis, typing on the computer, typing on a cell phone, or writing with a pen or pencil.
How Can a Chiropractor Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
When someone has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, they are often told to take anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, they might even be told to undergo a procedure called a fascial tunnel release. While these treatment options could work, a chiropractor could help someone avoid medications and surgery all together.
There are a few ways that a chiropractor can treat carpal tunnel syndrome. These include:
- A chiropractor can use adjustments to make sure that the bones, ligaments, and tendons are aligned everywhere from the spine to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand
- A chiropractor could also recommend massage therapy and acupuncture to relax the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the wrist and hand
- Chiropractors can also recommend exercises such as the wrist extension stretch, the wrist flexion stretch, and median nerve glides which could help strengthen the wrist and alleviate stress on the median nerve
A chiropractor can take a well-rounded approach to the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, possibly helping people avoid surgery.
Rely on the Experience of a Trained Chiropractor
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common reasons why people seek the help of a chiropractor. As this condition becomes more common with the use of computers and cell phones, it is important for everyone to take care of the wrist. This is where a trained chiropractor can help. If you’re suffering from this condition, give us a call. We’re here to help!