Can Chiropractors Help Carpal Tunnel? Chiropractors in Colorado Springs have the Answer.
The carpal tunnel is situated where the wrist meets the hand and is composed of bones and ligaments. The carpal tunnel surrounds finger ligaments and the median nerve, which starts in the spine and ends in the palm. This vital nerve is responsible for sending signals from the hand and fingers to control touch and movement.
Have you ever experienced recurring numbness or pain in your wrist and fingers? Like many individuals across the world, you may be experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when surrounding tendons squeeze the median nerve, resulting in weakened motor skills, numbness, and even pain.
Three percent of the population experiences CTS. Increased age also increases one’s chances of developing Carpal Tunnel, and women are at three times higher risk than men. Additionally, individuals who repeatedly use hand motions—such as typing—are more likely to suffer from CTS.
Medical professionals can catch, diagnose, and treat Carpal Tunnel without the need for invasive treatments such as surgery. One common treatment is chiropractic therapy since a chiropractor can correct pinched nerves in the spine. Unchecked, however, CTS leads to chronic nerve damage.
Causes & Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel
CTS tends to originate with tissues and ligaments surrounding the median nerve that put pressure on the median nerve. However, there is no specific cause of CTS.
Significant wrist injuries that trigger swelling—a fracture or sprain, for example—often damage the median nerve. However, CTS causes may go deeper than just skin and bones. Hypothyroidism, an overactive pituitary gland, twisted spine, and rheumatoid arthritis also contribute to CTS.
Individuals that perform repetitive wrist motions may also experience symptoms of Carpal Tunnel. The use of vibrating tools such as a drill also impacts the median nerve. In women, fluid retained during pregnancy or menopause contributes to CTS.
CTS symptoms may be subtle at first, often developing overnight. Individuals may experience a tingling, numb feeling in the fingers, usually in the first two fingers and thumb. CTS may affect both hands but often starts in the dominant hand since this hand performs most repetitive motions. After sleeping, those suffering from CTS may need to “wake up” their tingling hands by shaking them—similar to when a person’s foot “falls asleep” due to lack of blood flow.
Symptoms may persist into daytime hours, affecting the motor skills required to hold everyday items—such as books, a phone, and the steering wheel while driving— and pick up small objects. In the worst CTS cases, thumb muscles may deteriorate, and nerves may be so damaged that individuals burn themselves.
Common Treatments for Carpal Tunnel
If recognized and diagnosed early on, CTS treatments are generally noninvasive while effectively providing relief and recovery. Doctors generally prescribe a wrist splint and, in some situations, drugs for pain relief and inflammation. Prescription medicines may be directly ingested or inserted into the median nerve, reducing stress on the median nerve internally. Additionally, patients are encouraged to refrain from wrist actions that may cause pain and inflammation.
Patients with advanced CTS will require surgery. In an extremely common surgery performed in the US, doctors remove tissues around the median nerve to reduce pressure. While the surgery still involves invading the body, patients don’t have to spend the night in a hospital. Surgeons either increase the size of the carpal tunnel or completely remove the carpal ligament.
Carpal Tunnel and Chiropractic Therapy
Here’s the good news. There’s an effective way to treat CTS without drugs or invasive surgery. Some CTS causes—such as spinal displacement—are treated by specialist chiropractors in Colorado Springs.
Chiropractors perform physical exams on the upper body—especially the wrist and fingers—to determine whether a patient is suffering from CTS or another disorder. X-rays may also be utilized, examining the bone structure and determining other conditions such as diabetes or arthritis. Finally, chiropractors may use an ultrasound to examine the size of the median nerve.
CTS is often traced to a misalignment of the spine. Colorado Springs chiropractors specialize in treating these issues, performing adjustments, manipulations, and tissue treatment. A chiropractic doctor may also prescribe wrist exercises and guidelines for altering wrist-straining activities.
Hormones also contribute to swollen tissue and pressure on the median nerve. A chiropractic doctor may refer you to other functional medicine doctors to treat hormone imbalances while providing any necessary structural care.
How Can a Chiropractor in Colorado Springs Help Treat Carpal Tunnel?
As Colorado Springs chiropractors, we’ve treated thousands of patients with CTS, and your case is no different. Don’t be trapped by the bars of CTS! Let us help you find relief that lasts.