We are a nation of people with fingers and wrists stretched and twisted into strange contortions on a daily basis. This is because we are a nation of computer users. Navigating a keyboard and a mouse hour after hour and day after day eventually results in nerves being pinched. The resulting pain and discomfort is often referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome (or CTS).
The word carpal refers to the carpal bones located in the wrist. These particular bones are not considered part of the hand but rather part of the wrist. The carpal bones allow the wrist to move and rotate vertically, horizontally and laterally.
Within this set of bones is the median nerve. This nerve is compressed inside the bone tunnel and if it becomes pinched or stressed, it causes pain and/or numbness of the wrist and oftentimes the entire hand.
While one usually thinks first of those who work at a computer as primary CTS sufferers, the syndrome can be caused by any tedious hand work such as painting, or assembly line work. The syndrome has also been associated with fractures and injuries, diabetes, obesity, and family history.
The symptoms are extreme pain, discomfort, numbness and muscle weakness in the hand and wrist. Oftentimes sufferers complain that the pain is severe enough to awaken them in the night. With proper treatment most people’s symptoms clear up within a few months. However, if left untreated, CTS in advanced stages can become quite serious, involving a loss of sensation, muscle deterioration, and permanent loss of function.
Conventional treatment is usually somewhat invasive ranging from cortisone injections to actual surgery. The success rate of these avenues is relatively low when factoring in the cost, risk level and possibly time off work.
Conversely, chiropractic treatment is totally non-evasive and offers a low-risk alternative. It is important to understand that chiropractic treatment takes in the entire length of the vertebrae from which all nerves originate.
CTS-like symptoms may not be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at all, but pressure from the neck or shoulder area. In the neck there are a group of nerves that branch out into the arms, hands and fingers. If there is pressure on any of these nerves, especially the median nerve, the result may be CTS or CTS symptoms.
It is possible to have neck involvement when the symptoms occur in both hands. If there is pressure on the nerves in the shoulder area, elbows, or wrist, the symptoms may also appear.
A chiropractor will begin here making adjustments to the vertebrae to relieve the pressure on nerves involved. Once the pressure is lessened, the body can begin the process of self-healing. This is how chiropractic treatments are designed. Again, the procedures are totally non-evasive.
If you are experiencing CTS symptoms, chiropractic treatment is an excellent choice with which to begin. Chiropractic treatment should definitely be considered before more aggressive treatments, such as drugs or surgery, are attempted. Contact your San Diego Chiropractor today!