Carpal tunnel syndrome is a frequent condition that our Sioux Falls chiropractors are asked about. It is a very common condition that affects millions of people per year. The “carpal tunnel” is located in the wrist and has nerves, tendons and blood vessels that pass through, to the hand. When the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel, it is called carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve supplies the thumb, index finger, middle finger and part of the ring finger. When the nerve is compressed these are the areas of the hand that are typically affected.
Causes and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in people that perform repetitive movements at work or for leisure. Many people think of manual labor jobs as being the biggest risk factor but office workers that spend a lot of time on a computer are at risk also. In some cases, trauma may play a role, but repetitive tasks and posture are more common causes of symptoms. Often, the symptoms may start out as mild with some tingling or pain in the hand. Also, waking up with your hands asleep or numb can be a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. If these symptoms are recognized and posture and activity modification occur, the symptoms may improve. Unfortunately, with no attention, the symptoms may progress and get worse for many people. Dropping things, loss of muscle strength in the hand and feeling clumsy can be signs of worsening carpal tunnel syndrome.
Chiropractic and the Carpal Tunnel
When someone first suspects they may have carpal tunnel syndrome it is important to see a health care provider for an evaluation. Then, an examination will be performed. This may include orthopedic/neurologic tests, muscle testing, imaging, and/or nerve conduction velocity tests. As chiropractors, we will assess the spine and the wrist/elbow for subluxations, or misalignments, that may be affecting the median nerve. If subluxations are found, we will typically perform a chiropractic adjustment to try to improve the function of the joints and nervous system. Recommendations on stretching exercises and wrist/hand posture may also be discussed. A brace may be recommended when working or sleeping to help keep the wrist in a neutral position. Often, chiropractic care can help a patient’s symptoms. If no improvement occurs, we may refer to to an orthopedic surgeon for possible surgical evaluation.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you think that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to try chiropractic care for your symptoms, please contact our office. One of our chiropractors would be happy to meet with you and perform an evaluation. We will let you know if we think chiropractic care may be beneficial in your case and what our recommendations for care are.