As chiropractors, we are known to be the go-to-experts of people with poor posture, back pain and spinal issues. Most think we’re always about the BACK and the SPINE but what most people do not know is that we also address other parts of the body— like your elbow, hands and even wrists!
If you have a job that requires constant use of these body parts, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can likely be an issue. This type of repetitive stress injury can occur when the median nerve gets compressed. This nerve starts in your neck’s cervical spine and then runs all the way down your arm and through a narrow passageway in your wrist, known as the carpal tunnel. It’s a long nerve and that means compression can occur at several points.
When the nerve gets compressed, it can cause tingling, numbness and pain in the hand and wrist and may even travel up to the forearm and into the shoulder. Weakness in these areas can also likely occur. It makes it difficult to grasp objects or perform fine movements (eg. writing with a pen, tying your shoelace) and you may even begin to drop things.
Fortunately, there are safe and natural methods to manage carpal tunnel syndrome without surgery. These include:
Using an Ice Compress – Using ice is better than heat for relieving CTS symptoms. The heat may increase pressure on the affected nerve while the cool temperature of the ice numbs the pain and reduces inflammation.
Exercises – Some stretches help improve the range of motion of the hand and wrist which can reduce the compression of the median nerve. Popular ones include the wrist extension stretch, wrist flexion stretch and median nerve glides (Individual images from Rehab My Patient YouTube Channel)
Wrist supports – This keeps the wrist in the proper alignment and can be used to prevent further injury.
Chiropractic care – As we said before, CTS happens when the median nerve gets compressed or impinged. In short, there is nerve interference. And that’s what chiropractors are known for– they are spine and nervous system experts who are good at pinpointing nerve impingement in the body. As they know which area to specifically target, you know that they are addressing the problem from its source.
What’s more, chiropractic adjustments are known to help maintain a healthy spine and correct spinal misalignments. This plays an important role in healing and recovery from CTS because nerve impingement can be caused by misalignments. The moment you correct these misalignments you will be able to relieve tension and reduce pressure from the nerves. This process could take weeks or months, depending on the case.
Start Healing Today
Our team here at North Shore Chiropractic have already helped many people with carpal tunnel syndrome. More than just relieving pain, we also aim to restore your health by correcting the improper alignment of your spine. If you think you have CTS, please consult our practice so that we can determine if your flare ups are caused by nerve compression and if you can benefit from our care.