Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve as it passes through the band of ligaments in the wrist into the hand. The effects are often felt as a loss of feeling, tingling and/or weakness in the thumb, index and middle fingers. This can be caused by repetitive motion, like typing, playing a musical instrument, or other repetitive activities involving use of the hands. Some of the more common people I see in practice who suffer from this include hairdressers, mechanics, musicians, and those that spend a lot of time on a computer keyboard. Interestingly, we have seen many cases of people who are on their smartphone for extended periods texting or otherwise using the phone keyboard who have these symptoms.
How Does Chiropractic Address Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Medical treatment will often consist of bracing, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid shots, and possibly surgery. These can be effective short term, but the symptoms often return, sometimes even after surgery.
Chiropractic addresses the problem differently. We look at the structure of not only the carpal (wrist) joints, and determine if there is occlusion of the tunnel due to a mechanical misalignment, but also assess other areas where the nerve may be impinged, such as the cervical spine (neck) and shoulder and elbow joints. We often find there to be nerve pressure in the cervical spine as well as the wrist, which is referred to as a “double crush” syndrome. In a case such as this, surgery may fail due to the nerve pressure in the spine not being addressed. If we find that either of these is the case (a misalignment, which we call a subluxation in the cervical spine and/or wrist), then this can very often be easily corrected with a chiropractic adjustment to both areas. Many patients I have seen over the years have been extremely happy not only with the results with chiropractic care, but also with the fact that they avoided surgery and medication. If you or someone you know is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome like symptoms, have them give our office a call. There is a good chance we can help them.