Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when there is a compression of the median nerve in the wrist formed by the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament – a strip of tendon that supports the wrist from the bottom. The Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist where tendons and nerves pass through to control the hand. These nerves and tendons are covered with a sheath of fluid that protects it. When a person uses the hand repetitively, swelling can happen due to the irritation of the chamber. As it swells, there’s no more space to accommodate the swelling thus the nerve is being compressed which results in numbness and tingling in the hands, primarily the thumb and thumb pad, index, middle, and inner half of the ring fingers.
When a person uses their hands on a repetitive motion, like for example when typing, there is a tendency that it can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. There’s no known real cause for the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as it’s an idiopathic condition but those that are more prone to suffering from this syndrome are women and those with diabetes. Around 80% of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are women and studies are still being conducted to understand why majority of cases are females.
The symptoms of CTS are usually experienced at night and are most likely caused by the sleeping position of the patient. As the patient unknowingly bends the wrist during sleep, the pain would then flare up. In cases of patients suffering from pain at night due to carpal tunnel syndrome, the patient can use a brace or a splint to keep them from bending their wrist and compressing the nerves while sleeping.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated through a chiropractic treatment. The patient must first undergo a series of examinations such as a physical examination and x-ray to properly diagnose the patient’s case. Since carpal tunnel syndrome is considered an RSI or a repetitive stress injury, the usual chiropractic treatment for this is by manipulation of the elbow and wrist and also with the manipulation of the patient’s cervical spine. Aside from this, the patient also has to rest the affected arm and to apply a cold compress to prevent further inflammation. A brace or a splint may also be advised for the patient to wear.
Spinal and arm manipulation is not the only chiropractic treatment available for treating carpal tunnel syndrome although it is the most common. An ultrasound therapy may also be conducted. In this type of therapy, a device that emits either high or low energy sound is used to the affected area. These energy sounds produce sound waves that penetrate into the skin and tissue thus relaxing the muscles and reducing the pain and inflammation.
Chiropractic treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is non-invasive. There’s no need for medications or surgery if you choose this treatment. Based on studies, the chiropractic treatment is also just as effective as the allopathic treatment for repetitive stress injury (RSI).