Visit a chiropractor for your carpal tunnel syndrome!Posted on
Do you suffer from Carpal Tunnel syndrome? Here at the Madison Clinic our North York Chiropractor can treat the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression or squeezing of the median nerve. The median nerve runs down the forearm to the palm of the hand. The carpal tunnel is a small passageway of ligaments and bones at the base of the hand that houses the median nerve. It typically affects the thumb, index and middle finger. Thickening of this passageway from irritated tendons causes it to become narrower and to compress the nerve, causing pain, tingling, or numbness in the wrist, fingers, or forearm. There is little data suggesting a true cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and it is most often linked to trauma or injury to the wrist, work stress, arthritis, fluid retention during pregnancy, or a predisposition because it is smaller in some people than in others. Although in many other cases no causes can be identified.
What are the defining symptoms?
– Numbness or pain (burning) occurring in the thumb, index and middle finger
– Hand weakness
– Difficulty holding or handling small objects
– Feelings of swelling even when swelling is not present
– Often symptoms occur most at night
– Feeling of relief after shaking out the hand
Who is at risk?
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually only occurs in adults. Women are 3 times more likely than men to have carpal tunnel syndrome. Although there is no identified reason, it has been suggested that this is because women tend to be smaller than men. It most commonly affects people from ages 30-60. It has also been prominent in assembly line workers- for example, manufacturing, sewing, cleaning, meat packing etc. and also for people who use a computer keyboard daily.
How is it treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, it depends on the severity of your symptoms. In some circumstances drugs can ease the pain and swelling such as aspirin, Advil, ibuprofen, but they are not likely to cure it. Exercise such as stretching and strengthening exercises can be potentially helpful when symptoms are mild. Yoga is a good example, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve movement. Using a splint or a brace for a couple of weeks to keep the wrist from bending and to reduce pressure on the nerve can also be effective for milder symptoms. Icing it regularly and continuing stretches are likely to reduce symptoms.
Surgery is another option for symptoms that have not improved with any other treatments. It involves severing the band of tissue around the median nerve to enlarge the band. It can also be treated with chiropractic work. Some methods commonly used include, manipulation and stretching of the wrist, manipulation of the elbow, and spine. Ultrasound is another procedure that is commonly used by chiropractors that helps to break down scar tissue built up in the area.
Overall management of CTS is determined by the severity of your symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to ensure no permanent damage to the nerve. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms contact your health care provider. Or see the fact sheet at the NIH.
Here at the North York Madison Sport’s Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic our goal is to get you back to optimal health. Our friendly and professional North York expert chiropractor is able to assist you with CTS through manipulation, ultrasound, and stretching. If your CTS is severe enough that it requires surgery we have multiple professionals and our chiropractic care to aide you with the recovery process, such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, kinesiology, and naturopath/acupuncture.