If you have a job that requires you to type at a computer, or perform other repetitive movements, for many hours every day, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome or you might develop it. This is another condition that a chiropractor can treat, or even work to prevent if you have this type of job and are not yet experiencing the effects of carpal tunnel.
These are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
In chiropractic, we understand the underlying body areas and functions involved in carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is an area of the wrist that is shared with the forearm’s nine flexor tendons. When you perform repetitive movements constantly, the outer layer of these tendons can become swollen from rubbing against each other continually, leading to compression or pinching of the median nerve.
The median nerve is a major nerve that takes care of muscle function and sensory function in parts of your hand and forearm. It goes from your hand and arm under your collarbone to your neck. Because of this pathway, carpal tunnel syndrome can also exhibit itself in your neck and shoulders.
Compression is often also present in the neck due to improper posture, awkward sleeping positions, a neck injury or putting your body into awkward positions like when you hold a phone with your neck and shoulder. These kinds of factors can lead to the vertebrae in the neck going out of place, pinching or compressing the median nerve in that area. This compression can cause similar symptoms to the ones caused by compression in the wrist.
Because of this double cause of carpal tunnel syndrome that often occurs, chiropractors know that we need to focus on both areas of the body to successfully treat the condition. This is a prime example of how chiropractic care is a holistic health system, meaning that it focuses on the whole body. Many doctors you see for carpal tunnel syndrome will only focus on the wrist. We know that if we only focus on one area, we might not fix the entire problem.
Most medical professionals treat carpal tunnel syndrome with medication, including prescription pain medicine and anti-inflammatory medicine, in addition to a variety of treatments like stretches, splints, massage and ultrasound. A doctor might also use cortisone injections in the wrist if the other treatment methods do not work successfully.
Finally, the doctor might recommend surgery if a needle EMG and a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test show that your nerve does not have proper function. Surgery for the wrist includes cutting it open and cutting a ligament that is located over the carpal tunnel. The goal is to ease pressure in the wrist, although surgery is often not an effective solution and can even cause new problems in the wrist like nerve damage or the formation of scar tissue.
But all of these treatment methods, including surgery, can be prevented with the use of chiropractic care. Since chiropractors know the median nerve connection from the neck to the hand, we understand the treatment needed to fix this problem. While standard medical treatment might go as far as surgery without ever treating your neck, resulting in the continuation of the carpal tunnel syndrome, we will treat your neck, arm, wrist and hand through chiropractic adjustments or other methods.
If a doctor has told you that you need various therapies, including surgery, give chiropractic a try instead and see what it can do for you. We can help determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome and come up with a treatment method to provide you with ongoing relief. Or if you have already been diagnosed, we can offer alternative treatment to traditional medicine. Call us today to find out more.