Carpal tunnel syndrome is often identified by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the thumb, index, or middle finger. It involves problems with the wrists and hands, and is becoming more and more prevalent because of the frequency of cell phone and computer use.
People who perform repetitive motions with their hands such as typists, cashiers, hairdressers, mechanics, etc. typically suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a fibrous band of tissue found on the front side of the wrist in the same areas as your wrist watch. It holds many of the tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that are needed to use your hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the carpal tunnel is damaged and pressure is being placed on the nerves and arteries in your hands and wrist.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually takes weeks or months to showcase painful symptoms. The symptoms will only continue to get worse if they go untreated.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can include pain in the hand or wrist at night, weakness or clumsiness in the hands, and muscle loss in your palms. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be aggravated by diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid problems, but typically repetitive behaviors exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome.
For example, anyone who works at a computer all day is at a higher risk due to the continual strain placed on the muscles of the shoulders, forearms, wrists, and hands. These repetitive strain injuries can often be prevented with workplace ergonomics and by taking frequent breaks to stretch and change positions. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best stretches you can do to prevent repetitive strain injuries from your profession.
Traditionally carpal tunnel syndrome has been treated by medical doctors with splints, injections, surgery, or with anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or Advil. However, chiropractors can also treat carpal tunnel with joint manipulation or mobilization to help your joints and wrist move more freely. Most chiropractors can also use soft tissue treatments to relieve muscle tension that may be impinging the nerves. There are plenty of exercises to specifically minimize muscle strain while improving muscle strength.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms let us know and we’d be happy to help!