In today's society, we are spending more and more time working with computers and electronic devices, meaning we are seeing more and more patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. But what exactly is carpal tunnel, and can chiropractic help?
What Is Carpal Tunnel?
Often identified by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the thumb, middle, or index finger, carpal tunnel syndrome involves problems with the hands and wrists. People who perform repetitive motions with their hands (such as cashiers, typists, mechanics, and hairdressers) are more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a fibrous band of tissue that is located on the front side of the wrist, or the same area where you wear your wrist watch. It holds many of the blood vessels, tendons, and nerves that your hand uses to function. When the carpal tunnel suffers damage and pressure is put on the nerves and arteries in the hand and wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't happen overnight. It takes several weeks or months for the painful symptoms to make themselves known, and it only gets worse if left untreated.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome can present itself in more way than just pain. Symptoms can include muscle loss in the palms and weakness or clumsiness in the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be aggravated by diseases such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, or even thyroid problems. Most often, carpal tunnel syndrome is exacerbated by repetitive behaviors.
More often than not, the patients we see suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome are those who work on computers all day. The continuous strain put on the muscles of the shoulders, forearms, wrists, and hands can be prevented with a combination of workplace ergonomics and regular breaks to stretch and change positions. We can provide you with more information on the best stretches you can do to protect yourself from suffering because of repetitive strain injuries.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Traditionally, carpal tunnel syndrome has been treated by medical doctors with splints, injections, the use of anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and ibuprofen, and even surgery. At Healthy Life Chiropractic, we can provide treatment for carpal tunnel through joint manipulation or mobilization which will help your wrist and joints move more freely. We can also use soft tissue treatments to relieve muscle tension that may be impinging the nerves. We have several suggestions for exercises that specifically improve muscle strength and minimize muscle strain.
If you would like to try a natural, non-invasive form of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to helping you on your journey to true health!