Every year, there are thousands of people diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). They experience symptoms such as tingling, numbness, burning, and pain in parts of the hands and wrists. In some cases, they even have an increase in their ability to grasp things properly. Surgery and anesthesia are a common medical approach when it comes to treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Not only is it costly and risky to overall health, surgical approaches for carpal tunnel syndrome generally tend to focus on just one part of the disorder, which is the median nerve. With the “carpal tunnel release” surgery, the goal is to take pressure off the irritated median nerve. However, it is extremely common for carpal tunnel cases to have the symptoms return within as little as 2 years after surgery. In the most common treatment is “carpal tunnel release” but there is evidence that shows nearly half of these surgeries are not successful in relieving symptoms.
The carpal tunnel is referring to the narrow passageway located in the wrist. The "tunnel" allows for the median nerve, which stretches from the spine to the hand, to pass through. When any swelling of the carpal tunnel occurs, it can cause compression on the median nerve, which results in carpal tunnel syndrome. This syndrome can potentially cut off or limit the feeling and movement to portions of your hand. Women are three times more like to develop this condition in comparison to men, which may be connected to the smaller size of most women's carpal tunnel.
Sensations felt in the palm, the thumb, and other fingers are controlled by the median nerve. It’s the nerve that controls the muscle we use to bring the thumb across the palm to touch the pinky, though it does control the pinky. Any sort of pressure on this nerve is what causes the lead to pain, numbness, and weakness felt in the hand and wrist, as well as the arm and shoulder. CTS develops for various reasons, but the most common causes include when a person constantly uses extremes of wrist motion, are exposed to vibration, or if they repeatedly use their fingers, like those that work at a computer and are constantly typing. Though there is no one clear cause, the most common causes are:
CTS should be diagnosed and treated early. Our Campbell Chiropractors do an examination of hands, arms, shoulders, and neck to determine if the symptoms their patient is experience are linked to everyday activities or of an underlying disorder. The chiropractor also does a spinal manipulation to help them evaluate overall spinal health, review the patient’s daily routine, and get information on medical history. The goal of a chiropractic treatment for CTS is to relieve pain without medication or surgery. The main form of therapy might include resting the affected hand and wrist, reducing movement of the wrist to avoid additional injury, and applying cold packs to help bring down any swelling. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury. These types of injuries are caused by repetitive motion, like typing or assembly line work.
Common treatments chiropractors use for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly cases that have gone undiagnosed or treated a long period of time, ends up being too painful and advanced to be handled with medication and it is usually recommended for people to have surgery. Chiropractic care helps minimize the chances of needing surgery. Regular visits to a chiropractor have been shown to give patients positive results when it comes to controlling and healing many CTS symptoms. When someone has been dealing with CTS, they often feel powerless over their own body. At Smith Family Chiropractic, we will with you to help you find relief and take back control of body. Our goal is to help our patients feel empowered to take over the ownership of managing and improving the health of their body. If you or a loved one has been suffering from CTS, give Smith Family Chiropractic a call at (408) 374-4500. Remember: the earlier the diagnosis; the more effective less-invasive treatments will be.