How a Chiropractor Can Help Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Do you have pain, numbness or tingling in your arm or hand? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, your chiropractor and carpal tunnel specialist in Medina can help treat 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.
WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Carpal tunnel syndrome 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.
The syndrome causes pain, numbness and tingling in your arm or hand. Symptoms tend to be worse on the thumb side of the hand.
The pain or tingling may travel up your forearm and into your shoulder. Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome causes shock-like sensations to your thumb and index, middle and ring fingers. Weakness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult to grasp objects or perform fine movements, such as buttoning your clothes. You may even begin to drop things.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome tend to worsen over time. If you are like many people who sleep with your wrists bent, your symptoms may be worse at night. You might also notice symptoms during the day while holding something for a long time with your write bent forward or backward, such as using a cell phone or driving a car.
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. Early diagnosis and treatment can stop the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome before the symptoms become debilitating.
Severe damage associated with carpal tunnel syndrome may require surgical correction, known as carpal tunnel release. Surgery alleviates pressure to the median nerve by creating more room in the carpal tunnel. 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.
Chiropractic at Medina Sports And Family Chiropractic can treat carpal tunnel syndrome effectively without the risks associated with surgery.
Can a chiropractor in Medina diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?
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.
HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC TREAT CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Chiropractic treatment at Medina Sports And Family Chiropractic in Medina can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome by addressing its underlying cause.
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. If your symptoms are the result of pressure at the carpal tunnel, chiropractic treatment may include gentle manipulation of your wrist or elbow.
WILL MASSAGE THERAPY HELP CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Massage therapy is a non-invasive, effective and cost-efficient treatment for long-term relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel. Massage therapy reduces inflammation, pain and numbness associated with carpal tunnel by relaxing and lengthening the muscles and fascia of the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.
SHOULD YOU USE HEAT OR ICE FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?
Ice is better than heat for relieving symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Ice numbs pain and reduces inflammation, which are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Using heat can increase inflammation, which can cause more pressure on the median nerve.
WHAT EXERCISES WILL HELP WITH 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.
- 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
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE HEALING PROCESS?
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 in Medina can speed recovery and improve the healing process. Chiropractic manipulation can alleviate pressure in the median nerve in the cervical spine. Gentle manipulation of the wrist and elbow can relieve median nerve pressure there.
For more information on chiropractic treatment for carpal tunnel, contact Medina Sports And Family Chiropractic. The team of chiropractors has the training and expertise to design a personalized program to help you and every patient they see improve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Call (330) 903-0498 or contact us online.