People suffering from symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) — such as recurring wrist pain, tingling or a sense of weakness in the hands — can potentially receive treatment without drugs, surgery or invasive procedures. Through spinal adjustments, they may be able to alleviate CTS symptoms and their underlying cause.
Chiropractic for carpal tunnel syndrome has been proven through studies to be as effective as typical medical approaches like NSAID drugs and immobilizing braces. Those looking for true foundational relief can learn more about treating CTS through chiropractic by reading on.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
The cause of wrist pain in many individuals may likely stem from pressure being exerted on the median nerve, the main nerve that transmits brain signals to the hand and receives sensory information to send back to the brain.
Pressure and inflammation on the median nerve is often diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition describing how tiny carpal bones that surround the median nerve and the major finger tendons begin to interfere with nerve signals. Over time, the median nerve can suffer permanent damage, leading to decreased mobility and chronic pain.
Around 2.7% of the U.S. population suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, or an estimated 8.7 million individuals. The average age of diagnosed individuals is in the 40-50 range, and women are more likely to develop the condition than men.
Many medical experts trace CTS conditions back to repetitive stress and strains on the wrist. The condition was first noted among telegraph workers in the early 20th century, but assembly line production also caused the condition to rise in workers, especially meat packers. Modern computer-dependent jobs have caused CTS incidence to rise even more.
Repeated motions that place pressure on the wrist take their toll over time and begin to contort the carpal bones and median nerve pathway. First signs of this nerve pressure can include tingling in the outer fingers or sharp pains radiating from the back of the wrist. Over time, damage to the median nerve can cause weakness of the thumb, decreased sensations from the hand and sporadic shooting pains that can also affect the forearm or shoulder.
Why Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Be an Effective Treatment
With modern computer-dependent occupations, head, shoulder and spine alignment can contribute to a general lack of postural support, which places pressure on nerve pathways throughout the body. The proper typing technique of having wrists and forearms parallel to the typing surface becomes more difficult to maintain.
Since wrist position and repetition may be the most significant factors contributing to CTS, adjustments of the upper spine to correct subluxations stemming from poor posture can often improve posture overall. It also frees up nerve signals to travel more readily, decreasing the factors that cause wrist pain or unusual sensations.
Spinal adjustment can also be combined with other non-drug and non-surgical therapies, including extremity adjustments, ultrasound treatment, yoga therapy and general improvements to posture. Your chiropractic care professional can work in coordination with you to ensure that any treatments are effective and targeted at your specific condition.
In this way, many people find true, lasting relief through chiropractic, especially in combination with alternative therapies. Explore your options and have your CTS condition diagnosed through state-of-the-art imaging by booking a chiropractic appointment today.