Chiropractic Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chiropractic Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By: Dr. Ryan Marshall

Millions of Americans have had carpal tunnel syndrome or similar symptoms Did you know carpal tunnel syndrome can be helped by a chiropractic physician

Millions of Americans have had carpal tunnel syndrome or similar symptoms. Did you know carpal tunnel syndrome can be helped by a chiropractic physician? It?s true. Many Americans every year are treated successfully through chiropractic care for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which a nerve, the median nerve to be exact, is compressed in the wrist area. To avoid permanent nerve damage, carpal tunnel syndrome should be treated as early as possible by a chiropractic physician or other physician that performs physical medicine. Medication can be prescribed by a primary care physician to relieve symptoms, but may only help the symptoms not necessarily the problem.

Carpal Tunnel symptoms usually begin gradually. Burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm, thumb, index, and middle fingers are most common. Symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms worsen, tingling may be felt during the day. The dominant hand is usually affected first, possibly due to repetitive motion. Repetitive motion such as typing, knitting or twisting of the forearm and wrist might be the culprit for many cases of carpal tunnel symptoms. Such activities can lead to nerve entrapment, which is a major contributing factor to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Nerve entrapment can be caused by many things including the very small carpal bones of the wrist. Did you know there are 27 bones in one hand! If a few of the carpal bones come ?out of place? or misaligned they can put pressure on the median nerve which is considered a type of nerve entrapment. Other ways the nerve can become entrapped is through muscle spasms or trigger points.

Treatment can include chiropractic joint mobilization or adjustments and strengthening and stretching of the surrounding soft tissue. Applying cold packs to reduce inflammation may also be helpful as well. Resting the affected hand and wrist, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid twisting or bending can also be beneficial. Some research suggests certain B-vitamins may relieve the symptoms on a cellular level.

Carpal Tunnel symptoms are often found in women who are pregnant, especially in the third trimester. Some swelling is expected with pregnancy, but sometimes it can get a bit out of hand. The expecting mother?s hands, wrists and ankles can begin to swell more and more throughout the pregnancy. When this happens the swelling can cause the nerve entrapment in the wrist and produce similar symptoms to that of carpal tunnel. Usually a few days to weeks after the baby is here the swelling drastically decreases and the symptoms subside. During the third trimester when swelling is most prominent chiropractic care can help with pain management and comfort control. But due to the fact that the symptoms are mainly an effect of the swelling chiropractic care can only do so much.

Although surgery is needed sometimes for carpal tunnel syndrome, nobody wants to go though that. Even the best surgeons will tell you to avoid surgeries at all cost. Tell your friends and family that are experiencing elbow, wrist and hand pain they can be helped by a chiropractor or other health care physician who does physical medicine and hopefully, possibly prevent surgery.

The most common surgical procedure done for this is the open carpal tunnel surgery. During this surgery the transverse carpal ligament is cut to open the space for the impinged median nerve. The surgery is usually done in an out-patient setting with local anesthesia. It is usually recommended to not lift any heavy objects for up to three months after the open carpal tunnel surgery. As always some risk is involved with any surgery, so be sure to go over the risk of your specific situation with your doctor and or surgeon.

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