03/18/2021 by Tracy Chiropractic
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand or arm are all common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the American Association of Family Physicians, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical diagnosis that affects 3-6% of adults. It can also cost employers billions in workers' compensation costs, medical treatment, and lost productivity. As carpal tunnel syndrome progresses over time, it's likely that the severity of symptoms will, too, making it critical for individuals to receive an early diagnosis and treatment plan.
What Is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from excessive pressure or compression on the median nerve. This nerve runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand and is located in the carpal tunnel—a narrow passageway in the base of the hand consisting of ligaments, nerves, and tendons that assist with mobility and hand sensations. This nerve's compression may cause numbness, tingling, and other symptoms such as pain and weakness in the hand.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel
Studies have shown that women and adults between the ages of 30 and 60 are at a higher risk of contracting carpal tunnel. Oftentimes, the onset of CTS is a result of a combination of factors, which may include:
- Repetitive motions, like typing or sewing
- Hormonal changes from pregnancy
- Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
A car accident, slip and fall, or other work-related injuries that cause broken or fractured bones may also lead to CTS symptoms.
Mild carpal tunnel cases can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, icing the wrist, and rest. Other non-surgical treatments for severe cases include steroid injections to the carpal tunnel to reduce inflammation, wrist splints that hold the hand in a neutral position, and avoiding strenuous positions that overextend the wrist. Surgery is often recommended for cases that do not respond to other forms of treatment and aims to increase the tunnel's size to reduce pressure on the median nerve.
No matter how minor or severe the symptoms, an early CTS diagnosis may lead to more effective pain management and treatment. Regular visits to a professional chiropractor may also help address musculoskeletal concerns associated with your carpal tunnel diagnosis. Our team of doctors at Tracy Chiropractic has been serving patients suffering from a wide variety of chronic conditions and injuries that can result in pain and discomfort. Complete our online form to schedule an appointment today.