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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you have pain, numbness or tingling in your arm or hand? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common. It affects 3 to 6 percent of adults in the United States, according to American Family Physician.


Doctors sometimes suggest aggressive treatments, such as steroid injections and surgery. If you are like many patients, though, you worry about the risks and complications of such approaches. You may prefer to try conservative treatments, which can alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome without all the risks of aggressive therapy. Chiropractic care provides safe and effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.


Approach Styles

Traditional Medical Approach: Wrist braces to manage pain is a common at-home recommendation. If symptoms do not disappear, wrist surgery is common in 71% of cases. Possible side effects include nerve damage, blood vessel damage, and hand paralysis.


Prescription Drug SIde Effects: Cortisone injections to the wrists and hands for pain management. Side effects: pain/swelling, infection, cartilage loss, allergic reaction, or skin discoloration.


Chiropractic Approach: Check for subluxations at C6, C7, or possibly T1. Specific adjustments to the cervical spine. Look into a history of prolonged computer use, unresolved neck pain & upper back pain. Changes to workstation and ergonomics to support proper biomechanics.


* Without chiropractic care, people often resort to wrist surgery and rehab in approximately 6 months.


EXERCISES FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME


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. These exercises help the median nerve glide through the carpal tunnel, which helps improve range of motion and hand function.


Exercises include:

  • 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



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