Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects people of all ages and backgrounds, affecting anywhere from 1 to 5 percent of Americans, according to MedlinePlus — based on the current population of the U.S. that comes out to 3 to 16 million Americans. Someone with carpal tunnel syndrome can experience anything from mild numbness in one finger to a sharp tingling sensation across several fingers.
The good news is that carpal tunnel syndrome is easy to treat. In fact, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with several methods, many of which you can do at home. Whether you prefer stretches or visiting a chiropractor’s office, like Denver Chiropractic, for faster results, carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t have to control your life. Below is everything you need to know about carpal tunnel syndrome and how you can treat it.
How Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Caused
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the median nerve, which runs along the arm, is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Many factors can cause this, though it’s mainly caused by repetitive wrist movements like typing on a keyboard or hammering. Repeated forceful impacts, like ones caused by using a hammer, and vibration can also cause this condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is what’s known as an entrapment neuropathy, which is caused when a nerve is compressed between two other objects within the body. Among the various entrapment neuropathies, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common, making up 90% of all diagnosed entrapment neuropathy cases.
Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies
There are ways to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome besides chiropractic treatment. You won’t see results as quickly, but if you want to do something about your carpal tunnel discomfort, you can make ergonomic adjustments. For example, if you spend a lot of time typing, you can invest in an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. These peripherals are designed for comfort and don’t put added strain on your wrists. Gamers can adjust by changing to controller schemes that require fewer movements or by stretching the wrists at least once an hour.
Stretching and strengthening exercises are two methods that work to ease carpal tunnel syndrome. You can do stretching exercises anywhere, so this may be an ideal solution if you experience carpal tunnel issues throughout the day. You could also do light strengthening exercises, which help reduce pain and build up your muscles so you don’t experience carpal tunnel syndrome in the future.
People experiencing joint and muscle pain can often overlook the importance of rest. If you’re experiencing discomfort, you can try using the affected wrist less by switching to the other wrist or by pausing certain activities for a short period. Along with resting the wrist, you can try heat and cold therapy. Applying a cold pack reduces swelling while applying heat improves blood flow and relaxes the muscles. You can do several cycles of this to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chiropractic treatment is one of a few ways to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome. You can see results faster with chiropractic care than if you tried home remedies. A licensed chiropractor can develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific ailment. While the specific treatment will depend on several factors, these are the most popular treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Non-Invasive Treatment Options
Chiropractic adjustments are the primary non-invasive treatment solution. For this treatment, your chiropractor will gently adjust your spine, arms, and wrist. This is because the median nerve runs from the back through the arm, hence the various adjustments. The adjustments will relieve the pressure the carpal tunnel causes on the median nerve. There’s no telling how many adjustments a person may need to remove the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, though receding symptoms can be expected with as little as one chiropractic session.
There are many benefits of chiropractic care for carpal tunnel syndrome, including:
- Improved nerve function
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Enhanced mobility and range of motion
Soft tissue mobilization, or STM, is another technique your chiropractor may use to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. There’s a misconception that STM is the same thing as a deep-tissue massage due to the similarities the two techniques share. However, STM is a medical procedure administered to restore normal function to the treated areas. This is done through several methods, including sustained pressure or friction massage.
Ultrasound therapy is a newer technique used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. This non-invasive procedure relaxes the muscles and reduces inflammation by applying heat that passes through several layers of tissue. While the ultrasound machine may cause you to feel a slight warmth in the applied area, there is typically no pain or discomfort associated with this procedure.
Choosing the Right Chiropractor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome, while non-life threatening, should be taken seriously and treated immediately. The condition can worsen over time, leading to symptoms that run throughout the day. However, you shouldn’t despair. Carpal tunnel syndrome is easily treated.
At Denver Chiropractic, Denver’s leading chiropractic care clinic, we specialize in speeding up your recovery. With our non-invasive, holistic treatment plans, you’ll be back to feeling like the old you in no time. Our evidence-based therapy techniques can mend joint and muscle pain caused by sports injuries, accidents, or aging.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and begin your journey to becoming a better you.