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Is it really carpal tunnel?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is more than just your typical wrist or hand pain.  CTS is when the Median Nerve is compressed or “trapped” between the carpal bones and connective tissue of the wrist. This compression can cause pain, numbness, coldness or clumsiness of the hands.

There are many causes of this compression such as swelling, thickening of the connective tissue over time and misaligned carpal bones. All of these are usually the result of undue stress on the wrist. This stress can be caused by overuse of the hands and wrist, poor ergonomics or support of the hand during prolonged use or just simply old trauma or micro trauma from repetitive stress.

It is important to have CTS properly diagnosed to rule out other nerve impingements that are more common and require less intervention. What can chiropractic care do to help?

Chiropractic care is documented to work on carpal tunnel syndrome. While there are no guarantees that any one mode of treatment will work on every person, studies have shown strong results that back the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment on CTS.

In those cases, the majority of participants showed significant improvement in several measures such as range of motion, finger sensation, and pain reduction. Patients can feel confident in improving their symptoms when choosing to pursue chiropractic care.

Chiropractors provide a less invasive treatment option. CTS can be easily managed without surgery if properly diagnosed early enough. Carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly cases that have gone undiagnosed or treated for an extended period of time, that ends up being too painful and advanced to be handled with medicine may face surgery. However, chiropractic care often helps minimize that option as a last resort. Regular visits to a chiropractor can show positive results in the controlling and healing of many of the CTS symptoms.

Chiropractic care offers an alternative to drugs to manage pain

As with surgery, daily doses of medicine may be a less than ideal plan when managing carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain patients may suffer from issues with the medicine, CTS medicines may conflict with other medication, or they may simply not want to take daily medications.

If medicinal treatment is not an attractive option, a chiropractic appointment is the next logical step. Chiropractic care often helps CTS by adjusting the patient’s elbow and spine.

Another common treatment is bracing. This technique limits the hand’s movements with the goal of allowing the wrist and tendons to heal and recover.

A chiropractor who is experienced with carpal tunnel syndrome is able to review each case individually and make solid treatment recommendations that can alleviate the patient’s dependence on managing the pain with drugs.

Helping patients to learn how to manage carpal tunnel syndrome.

With these uncertain times, most of us have had to make changes to our working environment. Whether we are working from home full-time or splitting our time between offices, these changes to the ergonomics of the workspace can change how stress is placed on your body, especially those parts that we overuse daily like the hands and wrist. Dealing with CTS can make a person feel powerless over their own body. It is important that your chiropractor is working to help correct those ergonomic factors that are contributing to CTS. Instruction on how to recognize and improve one’s health empowers the patient.

Workers who perform repetitive tasks daily as part of their job need to be especially aware of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Feeling pain, numbness, tingling, or burning in their palms or fingers may be the first symptoms of CTS. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the more effective less-invasive treatment will be.

Of all the carpal tunnel syndrome treatment choices, chiropractic care offers the dual benefits of being a highly effective treatment while still employing tactics that are not as invasive as other options. If you or a loved one is suffering from this condition, give us a call at our Tulsa office at 918-477-7909. We’re here to help!

— Dr. Riley Powell, DC

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