Any type of pain in your body can leave you feeling not yourself. No matter whether it’s your back, your legs, or somewhere else, we all look for relief from our body aches. One of those aches is carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people don’t even realize that they have carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve been having pain in your wrist area, there’s a chance you may have it. Let’s take a look at what it is, symptoms, risks, and answer the question, can a chiropractor treat carpal tunnel syndrome?
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakening of your hand. It’s also sometimes referred to as median nerve compression.
How Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Happen?
When there is pressure on your median nerve, it can lead to carpal tunnel. The median nerve goes down your arm through a part of your wrist called the carpal tunnel and ends in your hand. The median nerve controls the movement and feeling of your thumb and the rest of your fingers except for the pinky.
If anything squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space, it can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s important to remember that there is often no one single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s often a combination of factors that is to blame.
What Are Some Risk Factors?
Risk factors of carpal tunnel syndrome can vary. Here are some of the more common ones:
More women tend to get carpal tunnel syndrome than men. This may be because the carpal tunnel area is usually smaller in women than men. Women who get carpal tunnel also may have smaller carpal tunnel areas than women who don’t get it.
Problems with Your Wrist
If you’ve fractured or dislocated your wrist or have arthritis, it can affect the small bones in the wrist. This can put pressure on the median nerve and alter the space in the carpal tunnel.
Diabetes and other chronic illnesses can increase your risk of nerve damage and lead to carpal tunnel
Rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions can affect your wrist and put pressure on the median nerve.
Obesity and Body Fluid Changes
Obese people are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome as are people who retain fluid.
People who work with vibrating tools or who repeatedly have to flex their wrist can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because pressure is being put on the median nerve and can cause damage.
Many people who work at a desk may complain of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Some studies have suggested that using a mouse can be linked to carpal tunnel, but there hasn’t been enough evidence to strongly support that claim.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are several symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms or have all of the following symptoms:
- Burning, tingling, or itching in your palm or fingers
- Weakness in your hand
- Trouble holding things
- Tingling that moves up your arm
- Fingers become numb at numb
- Feel symptoms flare up when you do certain tasks like driving or reading a book
If you start to experience any of these symptoms it’s important to seek treatment so that you can get relief. This type of pain can range from moderate to severe.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
There are many different ways that carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed. A doctor may tap the palm side of the wrist or fully flex your wrist with your arms extended.
They may also conduct imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, or an MRI to look at your bones and tissues. A doctor may also order an electromyogram that measures your muscle’s electrical activity. There are also nerve condition studies where a doctor tapes electrodes to your skin to measure the signals in your arm.
Can I Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are no proven ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. But, there are things you can do to minimize the pain.
Take short breaks. Stretching or gently bending your hands is a good idea, especially if you use equipment that vibrates or requires force.
Avoid bending your wrist. Bending your wrist all the way up or down is never a good idea. Try to keep it in a relaxed middle position.
Check your posture. When you have bad posture, your shoulders tend to roll forward. This can shorten your neck and shoulder muscles, compressing nerves in your neck. This can have an impact on your wrists and hands too.
Check your computer mouse. Make sure your mouse is in a comfortable position and doesn’t strain your wrist.
Keep your hands warm. When you’re in a cold environment, your hands can hurt more. If you can control the temperature, it can help you have better movement of your hands and joints.
Can a Chiropractor Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes, a chiropractor can treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractic care is often sought after because it offers a non-medicinal approach to get relief. A chiropractor can assess your situation and try to offer relief. Chiropractors focus on the neck and spine, both of which can play a role in carpal tunnel syndrome. A chiropractor may try techniques used on the neck and spine to give patients relief.
Gentle manipulation of the wrist, elbow, and cervical spine may be recommended to ease the pain. Your chiropractor will assess your specific situation to come up with a tailored treatment plan.