What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Understand what is happening
To know what carpal tunnel syndrome is, an understanding of the nerve involved is needed. The median nerve runs from the cervical spine in the neck, down the arm, and through the wrist. This is the nerve that gives feeling to the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger. The wrist has a narrow opening called the carpal tunnel. This is where a majority of the problems occur and is where the name Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, stems from.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Learn how it can be caused
The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is inflammation around the carpal tunnel. This can be caused by repetitive movements over time. Repetitive motions can be work-related; such as typing, holding a phone for long periods of time or some forms of physical labor. An injury to the wrist or neck can also cause a person to develop symptoms of carpal tunnel.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Identify the symptoms
The first symptom that usually occurs is numbness and tingling in the thumb and fingers. An indication that it is carpal tunnel syndrome and not something else is if there is feeling in the little finger. The median nerve doesn’t supply sensation to the little finger. So if all other fingers are numb except the little finger, then it is likely carpal tunnel syndrome. A person with CTS might also experience a shooting pain that travels down the arm. If left untreated, CTS can affect the way the handgrips items and can cause a person to drop things without control.
How Can A Chiropractor Help?
Help you relieve pain and get back to work
A chiropractor will talk to a patient to get their history and listen to their symptoms in an effort to determine the underlying cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and make a plan of action. If the problem stems from the neck area, then an alignment of the spine could be helpful. Gentle manipulation of the wrist can help if the carpal tunnel is the problem. Different exercises and braces can be used as tools to alleviate symptoms. There are a variety of non-invasive methods that can be used by a chiropractor to treat CTS. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your options.
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Check Out the Frequently Asked Questions About Back Pain
What happens if my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome progresses?
First, let’s note that not all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases get worse. Some cases are just temporary conditions that can resolve themselves completely. Other cases will continue to progress, and patients may start to develop a burning sensation, weakness, or cramping of the hand. This pain can also be felt as a sharp, shooting pain in the forearms. They may experience a loss of strength in their grip and start to drop things more frequently. If these symptoms continue to go untreated, the muscles in your hand, especially the muscles in your palm of your hand, might start to atrophy or waste away.
Is surgery the best option to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
No, surgery is only recommended for severe cases of Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Most cases are mild and can be handled with the help of a chiropractor or at home.
I do a lot of typing for work; does that put me at greater risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
No, although many people believe that typing is associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, recent studies have shown that assembly line workers are three times more likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than data entry workers. They also associated a link between vibrating had tools and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.