When the median nerve is swollen, it causes compression to occur inside of your hand and wrist, and this creates sensations such as tingling, numbness, and weakness. While certain conditions are linked to carpal tunnel syndrome, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid dysfunction, you can also suffer from it due to work and lifestyle choices. Spending long periods of time using a keyboard, doing assembly line work, participating in certain sports, or working in construction all involve repetitive motions that can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Natural aging can also put you at higher risk for carpal tunnel, and for older patients with a chronic condition such as this, management techniques are the primary focus, rather than completely curing the problem. However, for younger patients and those with less severe carpal tunnel conditions, the symptoms can be resolved. Beyond damage to the median nerve, chiropractors also look for other underlying issues that can cause carpal tunnel to develop. Misalignments of the spine and other limbs can impact the wrist, arm, and fingers and cause your range of motion to be affected.
Managing and Dispersing the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel:
For one female in her early forties, an EMG test confirmed that the pain, numbness, and tingling she suffered from was carpal tunnel syndrome. Her right wrist was the area of complaint, and chiropractic adjustments were performed on her cervical spine. For 4 weeks, the patient came in 3 times a week to get treatment for her right wrist and elbow. “Low amplitude, short, lever, low force, high velocity thrust” techniques were applied. After the chiropractic care, the symptoms dispersed and the patient was more comfortable.
While some people feel that traditional medicine is the most effective in treating carpal tunnel, studies have shown that chiropractic care shows significant comfort and function improvements as well as overall sensation in the fingers. In another study, the chiropractic treatment took place over the course of nine weeks. For the first two weeks of chiropractic care, the patients visited three times per week, and for the next three weeks of care, the patients had appointments twice a week, while during the last four weeks of treatment, there was only one visit per week. The treatment included manipulation of soft tissues, the spine, and bony joints, in addition to wrist supports being used at night.
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel:
Certain movements can be difficult when you suffer from carpal tunnel, and finding the exact cause can be a challenge. However, when the pain is covered up with medication, you may never get the resolution that improves the health and capabilities of your body. While men can still develop carpal tunnel syndrome, women are more likely to have the autonomic disturbances. Surgery has shown to improve the symptoms for roughly two years, but does not always provide permanent results. Getting to the underlying issues and resolving them with a natural approach that promotes a healthier and stronger body is the primary goal of chiropractic care.
Davis, P.T., Hulbert, J.R., Kassak, K.M., Meyer, J.J. “Comparative Efficacy of Conservative Medical and Chiropractic Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1998 June; 21(5): 317-326.
Hulbert, J.R., Printon, R., Osterbauer, P., Davis, P.T., LaMaack, R. “Chiropractic Treatment of Hand and Wrist Pain in Older People: Systematic Protocol Development. Part 1: Informant Interviews.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2005 Fall; 4(3): 144-151.
Valente, R., Gibson, H. “Chiropractic Manipulation in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1994 May; 17(4): 246-249.
Verghese, J., Galanopoulou, A.S., Herskovitz, S. “Autonomic Dysfunction in Idiopathic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Muscle and Nerve, 2000 Aug; 23(8): 1209-1213.