Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) or wrist pain is a problem of that is becoming more and more common as we spend more time on computers and other electronic devices. When there is compression at wrist. of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand you can get pain, numbness or weakness in the wrist or hand. This is considered Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS is the most common of the entrapment syndromes —compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the hands or feet.
CTS typically occurs in adults, with women three times more likely to develop it than men. The dominant hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe. CTS is especially common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meat packing and similar industries.
Burning, tingling, itching and/or numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers are common CTS symptoms. Some people with CTS say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. Since many people sleep with flexed wrists, the symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms worsen, people may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb. Some are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch.
Some people have smaller carpal tunnels than others, which makes the median nerve compression more likely. In others, CTS can develop because of an injury to the wrist that causes swelling, overactivity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint, poor work ergonomics, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.
CTS should be diagnosed and treated early. A standard physical examination of the hands, arms, shoulders and neck can help determine if your symptoms are related to daily activities or to an underlying disorder. Your doctor of chiropractic (DC) can use other specific tests to try to produce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Sometimes other test such as laboratory tests, x-rays and nerve conduction studies may be performed.
Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga can be helpful. Scientists are also investigating other therapies, such as acupuncture, that may help prevent and treat this disorder.
In addition, we at Advance Chiropractic and Health Center offer Mechanical Motion Therapy which serves to rehabilitate the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, thereby accelerating the recovery process. Many patients report up to 70% improvement within 4 -5 weeks of starting care.
Rarely, patients whose symptoms fail to respond to conservative care may require surgery.
The American Chiropractic Association suggests the following CTS prevention strategies:
To minimize workplace injuries, jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can also develop programs in ergonomics, which is the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to workers’ physical capabilities.
No. Many cases of hand and wrist and hand pain are misdiagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Other causes of wrist or hand pain can be a sprain, pressure on the nerves in your elbow or shoulder, or a problem with vertebral misalignment at the spine.
Your doctor of chiropractic has advanced training in determining and correcting the cause of you hand or wrist pain.
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