The eight bones of your wrist form a U-shaped channel that houses several tendons and your Median nerve. This channel is called the Carpal tunnel. Your median nerve is responsible for sensation on the palm side of your first 3 ¬Ĺ fingers. Compression or irritation of this nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel causes the condition known as ‚Äúcarpal tunnel syndrome‚ÄĚ. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve entrapment, affecting 3-5% of the general population.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be brought on by prolonged wrist flexion and/or repetitive wrist movements like keyboard use, carpentry or assembly line work. Exposure to vibration or cold may also aggravate the condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in your dominant hand but frequently affects both hands. Some risk factors for developing carpal tunnel syndrome include diabetes, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, kidney disease and overweight. Fluid retention during pregnancy is a common cause of carpal tunnel symptoms.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling or discomfort on the palm side of your thumb, index, middle finger and half of your ring finger. The discomfort can sometimes extend towards your elbow. The symptoms usually begin as nighttime discomfort or waking up with numb hands but can progress to a constant annoyance. Your symptoms are likely aggravated by gripping activities like reading the paper, driving or painting. Early on, your symptoms may be relieved by ‚Äúshaking your hands out‚ÄĚ. You may sometimes feel as though your hands are tight or swollen. In more severe cases, hand weakness can develop.
Compression of your median nerve in the carpal tunnel is often accompanied by compression at a second or third site as well. Researchers call this ‚Äúdouble crush syndrome.‚ÄĚ Common ‚Äúdouble crush‚ÄĚ partners for carpal tunnel syndrome involve the spine or muscles in your neck, shoulder and forearm.
To help resolve your condition, you should avoid activities that involve repetitive wrist flexion, i.e. pushups. Grasping the handlebars on your bicycle will likely cause irritation of your condition. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can result in permanent nerve damage. The American Academy of Neurology recommends conservative treatment, like the type provided in our office, before considering surgical alternatives.
Our Approach to Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Many people in Charlotte have found carpal tunnel syndrome relief through chiropractic, manual therapy, and corrective exercise here at TruMotion Therapy.¬† Since each person is unique, an individual approach is taken with each patient.¬† Listed below is our general approach at providing relief from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Reduce pain and inflammation. This can be accomplished with laser therapy, gentle soft tissue work, and kinesiology taping.
- Loosen the joints of the neck and wrist. Chiropractic adjustments are effective at restoring proper mobility in stuck joints, which can decrease carpal tunnel pain.
- Corrective exercise and stretches help restore balance and alignment in the body to help ease pain and prevent it from recurring.
If you live in or around the Charlotte area and are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, click here to work with our team and begin finding relief.