Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Can Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractic care for carpal tunnel syndrome is a great solution due to its non-invasive treatment.  Through manual manipulations and hands-on techniques, chiropractors can relieve, tension, strain, and compression of the nerves.  Treatments that medical doctors use include anti-inflammatory drugs, and wearing splints.  Surgery is recommended if none of these treatments work.

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes and Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition.  It can cause numbness, tingling, or weakening of your hand, because of compression on the median nerve, which sends signals from the brain to the nerve for movement.  The median nerve runs down the arm through a part of your wrist called the carpal tunnel and ends in your hand.  This nerve controls the movement and feeling of your fingers and thumb, except for the pinky finger.

Common Risk Factors for Developing Wrist Pain

Women tend to get carpal tunnel syndrome more often than men.  It could be because women have smaller carpal tunnel areas than men.

Some causes that can put pressure on the median nerve, which alters the space in the carpal tunnel are fractures or dislocations of your wrist or you have arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that increase the risk of nerve damage that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome; rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions; obesity and retention of fluids; workplace factors – working with vibrating tools or repeatedly flexing the wrists.  Also, many people who work at a desk complain of symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

There is not one single cause of carpal tunnel pain.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of anything squeezing or irritating the median nerve in the wrist.

Some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are: 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; and feeling that symptoms appear when you are doing certain tasks.  It is recommended that if you are having any of these symptoms you seek treatment so that you do not end up with permanent damage.

Ergonomic Tips for Reducing Carpal Tunnel Discomfort

Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed in a number of ways. First, the doctor taps the palm side of the wrist or flexes your wrist with your arms extended.  Other tests may include x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRI to view your bones and tissues, an electromyogram this measures your muscle’s electrical activity, and/or a nerve condition study where electrodes are put on your skin to measure the signals in your arm.

There is no proof that carpal tunnel pain is preventable.  However, there are things you can do to lessen the pain.  These are:

  • Take short breaks, if you use equipment that vibrates or requires force.

  • Stretch or gently bend your hands; avoid bending the wrist all the way up or down.

  • Avoid rolling your shoulders forward this causes your neck and shoulder muscles to shorten compressing the nerves in your neck, which can affect your wrists and hands.

  • Make sure your mouse is in a convenient position so your wrist does not get strained.

  • Keep your hands warm, cold can make your wrist hurt more.

Chiropractors can definitely treat wrist pain with a non-medical approach.  Chiropractors treat the whole body. When they assess your specific situation they will figure out a tailored treatment plan for you.  Because the neck and spine can play a role in carpal tunnel syndrome, chiropractors focus on these areas during treatment.  Chiropractors may try different techniques used on the neck and spine to give patients relief.  This depends on the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chiropractors use gentle manipulation of the wrist, elbow, and cervical spine to ease the pain.  Chiropractic care is the way to go if you want to try and avoid surgery.