Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Q. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and how is it caused?

A. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common and troublesome condition that interferes with the use of the hand and fingers. CTS is a disorder that most often results when too much pressure is put on the median nerve as it travels through your wrist. Most cases of CTS are caused by cumulative trauma relayed to repetitive movements of the fingers, hands and wrists over a prolonged period of time, for example using a computer for hours on end with improper body mechanics and poor posture. Repetitive hand/finger movements can cause structural changes to the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the median nerve.
Q. What are some of the common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A. Symptoms of a person who experiences CTS can include numbness, tingling, “pins and needles”, burning, pain in the middle, index finger and thumb, the wrist and sometimes in all five fingers. In more advanced cases of CTS, weak hand grip and poor finger coordination are involved, and sometimes pain and swelling in the wrists and forearms are present. Pain and numbness in the affected hand or fingers, which interrupts your sleep at night is often a sign of CTS. Once symptoms of pain and tingling appear, the condition frequently worsens and permanent nerve damage may occur.

Q. The Anatomy of Carpal Tunnel
A. The Carpal Tunnel is named for the area of your wrist containing the carpal bones, the transverse carpal ligament (connecting the two outside carpals together) the median nerve and the tendons controlling finger and hand movement. The median nerve, originates in the neck, passes through the carpal tunnel into the hand. In CTS, the symptoms occur because the Median nerve is compressed as it passes through the narrow tunnel of bones and ligaments at the wrist.

Q. Who is at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A. Occupations such as data and work processing, assembly line work, and construction work, which involve repetitive movements, can put the worker at risk of developing CTS. It is interesting to note that CTS is two to five times more common in women then men. Systemic conditions such as menopause, osteoarthritis, late trimester pregnancy, diabetes, and thyroid disorders have been known to produce CTS symptoms.

Q. How can you reduce the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A. The following are general recommendations which may be used to help reduce your risk of CTS:

  • Keep your wrist in neutral position
  • Minimize repetition
  • Watch your grip
  • Reset your hands periodically
  • Exercise your wrists and fingers

Q. Can Chiropractic help people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A. YES! Chiropractic can help you get to the root of your problem by diagnosing your condition and the underlying physical causes. A thorough clinical, neurological, orthopaedic, and chiropractic examination will help to determine what are the contributing factors to your particular complaint. Chiropractic will not only address the underlying physical cause, but will also help you learn how to prevent problems in the future. Chiropractic can be very effective when structural imbalances in the neck, wrist, shoulder, and elbow can relieve pressure from the median nerve, thus reducing the symptoms.
It’s always best to prevent a condition, and CTS is no exception. If you are experiencing any symptoms of carpal tunnel you should consult your chiropractor as soon as possible. The earlier CTS is treated, the easier and quicker the recovery.
Q. How can you reduce the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The following are general recommendations which may be used to help reduce your risk of CTS:

  • Keep your wrist in neutral position
  • Minimize repetition
  • Watch your grip
  • Reset your hands periodically
  • Exercise your wrists and fingers

Q. Can Chiropractic help people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
A. YES! Chiropractic can help you get to the root of your problem by diagnosing your condition and the underlying physical causes. A thorough clinical, neurological, orthopaedic, and chiropractic examination will help to determine what are the contributing factors to your particular complaint. Chiropractic will not only address the underlying physical cause, but will also help you learn how to prevent problems in the future. Chiropractic can be very effective when structural imbalances in the neck, wrist, shoulder, and elbow can relieve pressure from the median nerve, thus reducing the symptoms.
It’s always best to prevent a condition, and CTS is no exception. If you are experiencing any symptoms of carpal tunnel you should consult your chiropractor as soon as possible. The earlier CTS is treated, the easier and quicker the recovery.

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