What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist area.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and tingling sensation in all the fingers except the little finger, pain and burning sensation in your hand and wrist that may radiate up the arm and elbow, and weakness in your hand with diminished grip strength.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The exact causes of the condition are not known. However, certain factors increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Congenital abnormalities
- Repetitive motion of hand and wrists
- Fractures and sprains
- Hormonal imbalance
- Certain medical conditions such as pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes
- Presence of a cyst or tumor in the canal
Conservative Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated using conservative approaches. The conservative treatments include:
- Treating the underlying medical conditions
- Immobilization of the hand and wrist with a splint or wrist brace for 4-6 weeks
- Resting the hand for 2 weeks or more
- Ice packs to avoid swelling
- Avoiding activities that tend to worsen the symptoms
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections
- Strengthening and stretching exercises once symptoms diminish
Chiropractic care is an effective approach for addressing carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate pressure on the median nerve by restoring proper alignment to the wrist and hand bones. Additional therapies like massage or ultrasound may be employed to relax hand and wrist muscles and reduce inflammation. Chiropractors often provide home-based stretches and exercises to maintain flexibility and minimize inflammation, which is crucial for preventing symptom recurrence.