Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve condition that can cause pain, tingling, numbness and other symptoms due to pressure on the median nerve. This nerve is connected to several tendons in your hand and all reside in a small section of your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The nerve and tendons control your thumb as well as the first three fingers on your hand.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel?
There are multiple causes for carpal tunnel:
- Repeated Hand Movements - especially if your hands are lower than your wrist, such as typing on a keyboard or sewing
- Illness - such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism
- Pregnancy - due to increased hormone levels and swelling
What Are The Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms are often attributed to cramping or muscle pain due to the activity being performed, but the symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
- Tingling in hands
- Pain in hand or the arm
- Numbness in fingers or hand
- Pain that can be relieved temporarily by shaking your hand
A way to determine whether these symptoms are related to carpal tunnel or other hand problem is that the pain will be exclusive to the thumb and first three fingers. If there is no pain in your little finger, it is probably carpal tunnel.
How Can I Correct Or Stop Carpal Tunnel?
There are everyday ways to prevent the development of carpal tunnel or lessen minor symptoms. You can try to:
- Rest your wrists during activities.
- Keep your wrist in a neutral position while typing.
- Switch hands when doing repeated movement.
- Use your whole hand to lift objects.
The treatment for carpal tunnel will be based on the degree of pain you are having as well as the limits of your mobility because of it.
- You can ice your wrists for 10 to 15 minutes every 1-2 hours to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
- Non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to reduce the swelling or alleviate some of the pain
- You may be required to wear a wrist splint at night to take pressure off of the median nerve.
- Surgery can be done if the pain is extremely severe or daily activities are significantly hinder.
A final way to treat carpal tunnel – that not only works as a treatment, but can also prevent it – is regular chiropractic care. A chiropractor, through adjustments, will be able to alleviate the pressure on the median nerve as well as help to prevent swelling. Regular visits before carpal tunnel develops could prevent the damage from starting by keeping the wrist, tendons and nerves working well and in alignment. If you are at risk for or have carpel tunnel and live in the Amarillo or Texas Panhandle area, contact New Life Chiropractic for an appointment to discuss how regular chiropractic treatment can help you.