Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most expensive of all work-related injuries. Over his or her lifetime, a carpal tunnel patient loses about $30,000 in medical bills and time absent from work.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve is pinched or inflamed. The median nerve is located just above the wrist. The carpal tunnel is at the base of the palm of your hand and is made of bones, tendons, and a thick ligament that surround the median nerve. The pinching is a result of sustained activities like typing, hammering, or pushing. Many believe that constant repetitive use of the hand causes the problem. Although an injury such as a broken wrist or a dislocated hand bone harms the nerve as well. In some cases the carpal tunnel is smaller in some peoples’ hands and leads to a higher likelihood of CTS occurring.

What Are the Symptoms?
Burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index, and middle fingers are most common. Some people with CTS say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. Since many people sleep with flexed wrists, the symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms worsen, they may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb. Some are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch.

What Is the CTS Treatment?
CTS can be painful and debilitating but early carpal tunnel treatment can lead to a quicker recovery. Chiropractic manipulation has shown to be the most effective method of carpal tunnel treatment because chiropractors are experts in the nervous system.
Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga can be helpful.

Occasionally, patients may require surgery. The surgeon releases the ligament covering the carpal tunnel. Proper posture and movement as instructed by your doctor of chiropractic can help prevent CTS recurrences.

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