Have you been experiencing symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or burning pain in your wrists or hands? If so, you may be exhibiting symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or (CTS). CTS is common; in fact, it affects 3-6% of adults in the U.S. but can be difficult to diagnose due to the fact that a number of other conditions such as arthritis or subluxations present similar symptoms.
Once diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel, many doctors will suggest a more aggressive approach to treatment, including steroid injections and even surgery. Unfortunately, new reports show that a large percentage of these surgeries are unsuccessful in completely relieving the pain and limitations of CTS.
If you find that you are apprehensive about the risks and possible complications associated with surgery, you are not alone, as more and more patients are showing a growing concern for the procedure. Fortunately, there is an alternative through chiropractic care that offers a natural and more conservative treatment plan.
Chiropractic offers a non-invasive option for those who suffer from this painful condition by addressing the source of the pain through gentle manipulation of the wrist, elbow, hand, and spine. A chiropractor has the ability to look thoroughly into what is happening within the spine and vertebrae and locate compressed nerves that may be contributing to the symptoms.
What is Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel is the median nerve running the full length of your arm through a passage in the wrist that ends in the hands. CTS develops when the tissue in the wrist compresses a major nerve that leads to the hand. Because the median nerve begins in the cervical spine and runs all the way to the hand, pressure to the nerve can happen at any point along the way.
This nerve is responsible for controlling the feelings and movement in your thumb and all your fingers, with the exception of your pinky finger. CTS can cause tightness, burning, tingling, numbness, and limited mobility of the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Weakness can also occur due to CTS, making it difficult to hold on to objects tightly or complete more minute movements such as buttoning your clothes.
Often, there is no one single cause for CTS as it may be a combination of risk factors that can contribute to developing the condition, such as:
- Wrist fracture or dislocation
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes
- Inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis
- Workplace factors such as prolonged use of hand or power tools
In addition to chiropractic care, there are some exercises you can incorporate into your everyday routine that may naturally help alleviate CTS symptoms between your visits to the chiropractor, including:
- Wrist extension stretches- start by straightening your arm with the wrist bent back, similar to motioning to someone to stop, then gently pull your palm back with the opposite hand and hold here for 15 seconds.
- Wrist flexion stretches- again, begin with the arm straight, with your palm faced down, bend the wrist with your fingers toward the floor, gently pull the hand towards your body and hold for 15 seconds.
- Medial nerve glides- start by making a fist keeping your thumb towards the outside and fingers towards you. Extend the fingers and thumb, so your hand is straight, bend the wrist so that your palm faces up, then extend the thumb and straighten the arm.
You can recover from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; the faster you get a proper diagnosis and seek treatment, the faster the recovery process. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.