What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive use injury that occurs when the primary nerve that travels from the nerve to the hand becomes compressed or “pinched” where it enters the wrist. This area of the wrist, called the carpal tunnel, is quite narrow. When inflammation or irritation occur in these tissues as a result of repetitive motions, it can cause impingement and irritation of the nerve and the sheath that surrounds and protects the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by repetitive motions like typing on a computer keyboard or other ongoing tasks that require repeated motion of the wrist and hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common work-related injuries in the U.S. In some people; the syndrome may be caused by an injury to the wrist, hand or lower arm.
What symptoms does carpal tunnel syndrome cause?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause debilitating pain in the hand and fingers, as well as symptoms like diffuse aching, numbness or burning sensations that extend from the palm into the fingers. The little finger typically is not affected, but any of the other fingers, including the thumb, can experience symptoms. Eventually, grip strength may become weaker, and it can become difficult to perform specific tasks.
What does a chiropractor do to treat carpal tunnel syndrome and relieve symptoms?
Chiropractors have considerable experience in treating nerve-related injuries. Using special techniques like deep tissue manipulation, therapeutic massage and gentle stretching exercises are usually part of an effective treatment plan for carpal tunnel syndrome. Bracing, use of ice packs and ultrasound treatments may also be prescribed. Often, there are additional nerve-related issues farther along the arm and even into the cervical spine (the portion of the spine located in the neck). Using hands-on evaluation methods, a chiropractor can also determine if additional issues are present so symptoms can be treated and corrected at their source for long-lasting relief.