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Nov. 30 2017 Published by: Dr. Craig Singer

Everything to Know about Carpal Tunnel – and How Chiropractic Helps

Everything to Know about Carpal Tunnel – and How Chiropractic Helps

Do you have numbness, tingling, or pain in your fingers, wrist, and arm? If so, you may have a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when your median nerve is compressed within the carpal tunnel in your wrist. The median nerve runs from your elbow to your wrist, and it provides feeling in your thumb and three main fingers, but not your little finger. This nerve enables the muscles at your thumb’s base to move.

Why People Develop Carpal Tunnel

Here are several factors that contribute to your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Anatomic structure. If you have a smaller carpal tunnel, you have a greater risk. Also, women tend to have smaller bone structures than men, which make them more likely to develop the syndrome.
  • Wrist fracture. The fracture may have caused a narrowing of the carpal tunnel, which is causing your symptoms. The swelling and inflammation can compress the median nerve. Over time, wrist bones can become deformed.
  • Medical problems. Certain conditions like diabetes can cause nerve damage, which can affect your median nerve. Other conditions, like thyroid issues, menopause, and kidney problems can increase your risk.
  • Being overweight. Extra tissue in your wrist can cause pressure.
  • Retained fluids. If your body is retaining fluids, normally due to hormonal changes, the additional fluid can irritate your wrist and nerves.
  • Repetitive motions. Some reports indicate that the same moves over and over in work environments can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Typing or using the same movements while working in a factory, for example, may aggravate your wrist.

Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

How do you know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome? First you may notice tingling or numbness from time to time. The sensations normally appear in your thumb and fingers, except for your little finger. The pain, numbness, or electric shock sensations can travel up your arm. Some people even feel weakness to the point that they drop things.

Work Injury Chiropractor Fort Lauderdale

You may notice these sensations any time of day, or specifically when you are using repetitive motions in typing or factory work. For some people, the symptoms worsen at night. This may be due to sleeping positions that put additional pressure on the wrist, or due to fluid that accumulates in the wrist at night.

How to Get Relief from Carpal Tunnel

Sometimes shaking your hands or raising your arms upward can provide temporary relief. Here are other ways to find temporary relief:

  • Sit up straight—your posture affects your neck, shoulders, arm, and wrist.
  • Use good form, keeping your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Use a relaxed grip.
  • Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks.
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard and computer mouse.
  • Punch keys lightly.
  • Try to keep your hands warm; cold hands feel stiffer.

If your symptoms are getting in the way of daily activities or waking you up at night, you need to seek professional treatment. Without treatment, you may experience irreversible muscle and nerve damage.

Traditional Medical Treatment vs. Chiropractic

A doctor will diagnose your symptoms using physical tests to check for swelling, tenderness, and muscle degeneration. Your doctor may also order a nerve conduction velocity test, which tests how fast electrical impulses travel from your arm to your wrist. An X-ray can reveal bone structure and any abnormalities.

Treatment may include splints, rest, and ice. You may need to modify your working environment to minimize further damage. If arthritis, obesity, or fractures are involved, the doctor will prescribe treatments for those conditions.

Medications include over-the-counter NSAIDs to reduce inflammation. Some people have found relief by taking Vitamin B6 supplements. Your doctor may prescribe steroids to treat inflammation, either given orally or by local injection.

In cases where nerve or muscle damage is imminent, surgery may be prescribed. Carpal tunnel surgery involves cutting tissue in the wrist to take pressure off the median nerve. After surgery, patients typically undergo several weeks or months of rehabilitation. However, surgery may only temporarily resolve the problem.

Before considering surgery, talk to a chiropractor about your symptoms. Chiropractors have known for decades that pressure on the wrist can be relieved by correcting the alignment in the spine and neck.

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Your chiropractor may use several therapies to treat your symptoms, such as spinal adjustment, ultrasound therapy, therapeutic massage, prescribed exercises, and suggestions for better posture. He or she may also suggest dietary supplements to decrease inflammation in your body.

Many people have found relief from their painful carpal tunnel symptoms by seeking chiropractic treatment. Schedule your appointment today to get the help you need without invasive surgery.


About the Author: 

Dr. Singer has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years, and USA Health & Therapy has been around since 2004. Over the course of his career, Singer has helped tens of thousands of people with all kinds of issues by using a wide variety of treatment strategies. He has extensive knowledge of chiropractic modalities, including Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson Drop Table, and Activator, and in 1997 he earned a special adjunctive Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST) to better provide care for car crash victims. Dr. Singer is licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in both Florida and New York.



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USA Health & Therapy

3434 Northeast 12th Avenue
Oakland Park, FL 33334-4523
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