The term “carpal tunnel syndrome” is used often when talking about office workers and people who spend much of their day at a computer. It is a painful condition but can be easily treated, whether at home or with the help of a chiropractor. The guide below will teach you more about carpal tunnel syndrome and how to prevent it.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that compresses the median nerve, located on the palm side of your hand, to the wrist. The median nerve provides feeling and sensation to your thumb, index finger, long finger, and part of your ring finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in one or both of your hands at any given time. It can cause numbness, weakness, and/or pain in the hand and wrist.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually begin gradually and include frequent numbness or a tingling sensation in the fingers, particularly the ones your median nerve provides sensation to. Your hand may “fall asleep” often, and you may accidentally drop objects.
Fingers may feel swollen, even if they don’t look so, and you may need to “shake out” your hands to bring some feeling back. Symptoms usually start to appear overnight and will be more noticeable in the dominant hand first.
As symptoms get worse, you may feel tingling in your fingers throughout the day, especially during activities like reading a book, driving, or talking on the phone. When left untreated, severe carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage.
Can You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
You can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome with a few lifestyle changes. Stretch your hands and wrists at least every hour when you are performing repetitive hand tasks, such as typing or driving.
Ensuring you have an ergonomic workstation will not only help prevent back pain but carpal tunnel as well since it will put your hands and wrists in the optimal position to avoid strain. Keep your hand position and grip in mind throughout the day; relaxing tense positions and excessively tight grips can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Making healthier life choices will also help. Treating diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and arthritis will improve circulation and nerve function in the hands and wrists.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you notice any symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or are worried you may be developing it, your chiropractor can adjust the area around the wrist and elbow to relieve pressure. They can also give you some physical therapy techniques, such as wrist stretches, to prevent it from getting any worse in between sessions.
Be aware that the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by spinal problems affecting the neck. The nerves that exit the spinal column at the top of the shoulders (segments C5 to T1) provide muscle control and sensation to the hands. Faulty biomechanics, Abnormal loading, and disc herniations in the neck can create nerve malfunction similar to true carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why some patients receive no relief from surgical procedures to the wrists (carpel tunnel release). A skilled chiropractor can determine whether weakness, numbness and tingling in the hands are caused by the neck, the wrist, or both regions at the same time.
Additionally, carpal tunnel symptoms can respond very well to acupuncture treatment. Once the source of the symptoms is properly diagnosed, a targeted treatment plan often provides excellent results within several weeks. Laser light therapy and therapeutic ultrasound are several therapies that can accelerate recovery from the pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling.
If you are noticing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, contact Red Wing Chiropractic Clinic PA in Goodhue County, MN. Dr. Jay Greenberg and Dr. Barbara Kaiser have over 50 years of combined experience and can address a variety of physical ailments and improve your overall well-being. The clinic provides chiropractic, acupuncture, spinal decompression therapy, laser light therapy, and other therapeutic techniques. Auto accident, personal injury, and workers compensation claims are accepted. The clinic is in network with many health insurance plans. Visit them online to learn more or call (651) 388-8294 to schedule an appointment.