What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand. Also called median nerve compression, it can interfere with the simplest of daily tasks, make it hard to do computer work, or even hold objects if left untreated.
Numbness and tingling in any part of the body can come on suddenly, but with carpal tunnel syndrome, it may be sporadic or come over a long period of time. You will likely notice it mostly on the palm of your hand in your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger, but usually, the pinky is not affected.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
A medical diagnosis is required to confirm carpal tunnel syndrome, but symptoms in your hand and wrist may include:
- Hand pain or weakness
- Forearm pain
- “Pins and needles”
- Tingling or numbness
- Wrist pain or weakness
Each of these symptoms may come or go or occur simultaneously. You may also notice that your symptoms are worse at night.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
There can be multiple different causes as to why you could have carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel could be caused by an underlying health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Other causes and risk factors include:
Environmental factors around repetitive use may also contribute, such as the position of your desk, chair, and keyboard, or if you work in assembly, sewing, finishing, cleaning, or packing.
While carpal tunnel syndrome usually only occurs in adults, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, women are three times more likely than men to experience it at some point in their lives.
What treatment options are available?
BackFit Health + Spine’s number one goal is to provide pain relief as quickly as possible while getting to the root of the issue. Our team’s focus is to use non-invasive treatment to help alleviate the pain and correct structural issues in a natural way.
When you come into a BackFit clinic, we will start with a medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing (such as x-rays if needed) to make sure we recommend the right treatment for you. Some of our treatments that can fix carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Chiropractic Care: Adjustments of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and upper back can alleviate pinched nerves that cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the wrist, hand, and elsewhere.
- Ergonomic Devices and Advice: We can provide information on how to adjust your habits (like slouching or crossing the legs) and equipment (such as an ergonomic keyboard and mouse). This can help alleviate the potential cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome. We may also recommend and provide a wrist splint.
- Physical Therapy: PT, such as hand therapy, strengthens the muscles and tendons in the neck, arms, hands, and wrists. Our physical therapists can increase mobility in your wrist to help the tendons glide more smoothly through the carpal tunnel.
- Massage Therapy: In conjunction with chiropractic, physical therapy, and good ergonomics, massage therapy can help stretch and relax tight muscles and ligaments to help provide pain relief.
We may also prescribe topical anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and decrease inflammation in the short-term while the underlying issue is resolved.