Carpal tunnel Symptoms & Treatment
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be difficult to treat, but it is possible to alleviate symptoms without resorting to heavy painkillers or surgery.
Carpal tunnel affects thousands of Americans, and many people are at risk of developing this condition later in life due to our dependence on technology, typing, and mobile devices.
It is the second most common type of surgery performed in the US, behind low back surgery. The problem is that up to 85% of cases are actually misdiagnoses and that means that up to 85% of carpal tunnel release surgeries are unnecessary.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a degenerative condition that affects the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the arm.
Repetitive motions like typing, assembly work, or fine motor movements of the hands and fingers can cause this condition over time.
Individual anatomy can also influence the symptoms of carpal tunnel and other effects the condition may have.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Most people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome report symptoms including tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers, reduced grip strength, and feelings of weakness in the arms or hands. Without treatment, these symptoms will get progressively worse if the person continues whatever activity is causing them.
While severe cases of carpal tunnel may require extensive treatment, it’s possible to relieve many of the symptoms and improve the condition with noninvasive and holistic treatments. Because of the extremely high rate of unnecessary surgeries that are performed, people owe it to themselves to exhaust conservative treatments like chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can be a fantastic option that can not only improve your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms, but may also improve other aspects of your health, as well.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is essentially nerve damage, and repairing damaged nerves should be the goal of any treatment plan. Chiropractic care focuses on the connections between the brain, the spine, and the rest of the body, and adjusting overall health. Over time, chiropractic care can help restore lost functionality and improve range of motion.
Chiropractic care is an effective alternative to surgical or pharmaceutical treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but there are other benefits, as well. Treatment is directly focused on the involved wrist using adjustments to the small bones of the wrist.
Adjustments to the neck and spine may also be beneficial. A chiropractic physician will likely recommend soft tissue stretches and other therapeutic exercises. Another type of treatment that is extremely effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome is Graston Technique, which is using specific instruments to alleviate pressure in affected areas.
Over time, chiropractic care can help to relieve the pressure that builds in the arms, hands, and fingers due to repetitive motions.
FAQs – Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
How does fixing my spine help my hand and finger pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
“Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.” – Hippocrates
Chiropractic care focuses on the overall health of the body and adjustments to the spine benefits overall health. That being said, there are benefits to looking at the spine. Firstly, there are many issues that can cause the symptoms of carpal tunnel, including arthritis in the neck, cervical intervertebral disc herniations, thoracic outlet syndrome and even myofascial trigger points (muscle knots) and these conditions respond well to chiropractic care. There is a good possibility that a person might be misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome since the majority of cases are misdiagnosed. Or they can have both CTS and a separate issue at the same time and this is known as double crush syndrome. Postural issues, like having the shoulders rolled forward or the head moved forward, can also make any of these problems worse, including carpal tunnel syndrome itself.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome diagnosed?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is properly evaluated by doing a thorough history and physical examination. Usually, the diagnosis can be arrived at in this way and treatment using approaches like Graston Technique and adjustments can begin. In some cases, further investigation may be done by using approaches such as electrodiagnostics, which includes electromyography and nerve conduction studies. It could be appropriate to perform the studies when a patient hasn’t improved or if the diagnosis needs further clarification. In some cases, it can be prudent to do an EMG to determine the prognosis of the patient’s condition or in order to get an idea of how severe the condition is if surgery is warranted.
Can chiropractic prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens due to repetitive and consistent motions of the hands and fingers. If a patient uses his or her hands in such a way for work, then Carpal Tunnel will undoubtedly worsen over time without treatment.
Chiropractic care can definitively prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by not only directly treating the pressure on the nerve in the wrist, but by restoring balance to neuromusculoskeletal system as a whole.
How long does chiropractic treatment for carpal tunnel?
Patients usually begin to respond to treatment with a couple weeks but they may start feeling better much sooner than that.
It will most likely take several weeks to a few months to fully resolve the symptoms, but this definitely depends on the severity of the condition.
Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome curable?
It is a degenerative condition that worsens with time, and the only “cure” for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to consistently treat the symptoms and alter everyday behaviors to prevent repetitive motion injuries.
However, it is possible with the proper treatment to be symptom free for months or years.