Carpal Tunnel Chiropractic Care
Experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) develops when tissues in the wrist squeeze or compress one of the major nerves to the hand, known as the median nerve. This nerve starts in your cervical spine, which are the group of spinal bones that form your neck. The median nerve then runs all the way down your arm and through a narrow passageway in your wrist, known as the carpal tunnel. Pressure to the nerve can occur at several points along the way, including in your cervical spine or in the carpal tunnel.
Symptoms of CTS are:
numbness, tingling, weakness in the 1st three fingers
reduction in wrist or grip strength
reduction in range of motion
pain & inflammation at the wrist
Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent damage to the median nerve. Permanent damage can lead to chronic symptoms, which can be debilitating in some cases. Doctors sometimes suggest aggressive treatments, such as steroid injections and surgery. Complications from surgery include infection, bleeding, injury to nearby blood vessels, injury to the median nerve or nerves that branch out from the median nerve, and sensitive scar tissue. You may prefer to try conservative treatments, which can alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome without all the risks of aggressive therapy or surgery.
Chiropractic Care For CTS
Chiropractors can accurately diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult because it is often impossible to pinpoint its exact cause, but chiropractors have special expertise in the nerve entrapment syndromes, like carpal tunnel syndrome. Your chiropractor can determine if problems in your upper spine, known as your cervical spine, are causing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If so, chiropractic care would focus on relieving pressure on the nerve.
Recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome can take weeks or months, depending on how early you start treatment and the type of treatment you choose. If pressure has trapped the median nerve for a long time, it may take longer to recover. Chiropractic for carpal tunnel syndrome can speed recovery and improve the healing process.
Exercises For CTS
Specific exercises can help reduce pain, numbness and other symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome by reducing pressure on the median nerve at the wrist and can help improve range of motion and hand function.
Wrist extension stretch – performed by straightening the arm with the wrist bent backwards as if signaling someone to stop, and then pulling the palm back with the other hand and holding for 15 seconds
Wrist flexion stretch – straighten the arm with the palm facing down and wrist bent so that fingers are towards the floor; pull the hand gently towards the body and hold for 15 seconds
Medial nerve glides – performed by making a fist with the thumb outside the fingers and facing towards you, extending the fingers and thumb so the hand is straight, bending the wrist so that your palm faces upwards, extending the thumb, and straightening the arm