Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
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Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Any problems that cause increased swelling including infection, injury, or some other underlying health disorders can provoke carpal tunnel issues. Surprisingly, the most common injuries are not related to broken bones in the wrist. Instead, they are related to a prolonged period of physical stress.
When the hands and wrists perform repeated movements over a long period of time, repetitive motion strains can develop. These movements can be very small, such as the vibration of the handlebars on a motorcycle, or they can be larger, like the recurring motions one would see in a factory environment.
Diabetes or particular occupational activities, such as those carried out by office or industrial plant workers, are some of the more common triggers our chiropractor for carpal tunnel syndrome encounters.
Due to the fact that diabetes leads to increased inflammation and water retention, it can exacerbate or even cause carpal tunnel problems. When the nerves in the delicate wrist area become easily compressed by swelling, carpal tunnel symptoms develop. Neuropathy brought on by diabetes-related nerve damage, can also worsen carpal tunnel pain.
Industrial Plant Work
Carpal tunnel issues are a very real risk for those who work in processing plants whether they work in the food, automotive, or other industrial environments. These occupations involve repeating the same task over and over again for a considerable amount of time every day, providing every element needed to trigger this condition.
A tremendous amount of stress is placed on the wrist of fish and meat processing employees because they spend many hours a day gripping equipment, which compounds any carpal tunnel problems they may have. Similarly, motorcycle riders are more likely to develop problems with the median nerve and tendons in and around the carpal tunnel, increasing their likelihood for pain as well.
Most office workers use a computer for several hours every day. Similar to playing the piano, typing for many hours a day is a repetitive motion. Since office jobs also require prolonged sitting, the fluid retention and swelling that results can worsen carpal tunnel pain.
Other Conditions Linked With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Medical disorders that lead to fluid retention can cause carpal tunnel pain considering that excess fluid increases swelling and compression of the median nerve. Pregnancy, elevated blood pressure, and broken bones in the wrist are a few prevalent conditions that contribute to the build-up of extra fluid.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome often begins subtly with only one or two symptoms. Additionally, it may begin in one or two fingers before spreading to the entire wrist or even the entire arm. Since carpal tunnel gradually progresses, it can be easily missed until the pain is unbearable and movement of the wrist is limited. Following are some of the most common symptoms we see at Life Source Chiropractic.
Slight numbness in the hands and fingers might be the first sign of carpal tunnel issues. If you’ve just returned from working at a loud processing plant or from a cross-country motorcycle trip, it can be easy to brush this off. “Pins and needles” sensation can also be simple to ignore if the symptoms are mild.
Symptoms can also radiate up the arm and frequently occur at night, leading many patients to believe they moved unnaturally in their sleep. At Life Source Chiropractic, we start to suspect carpal tunnel issues when we hear people say that they slept awkwardly on their arm. During the day, bending the wrist for any length of time while using a smartphone, operating a vehicle, or performing any other repetitive activity might cause the wrist to go numb.
Numbness can be followed by wrist weakness since the nerves do more than merely send sensation information to the brain. They also convey movement signals from the brain. When this pathway has been damaged, these signals can become jumbled, incomplete, or missing entirely.
Issues with the median nerve can cause complications with grasping and squeezing. This can be seen in daily life when people drop things or struggle to button their shirts. We have patients with advanced carpal tunnel dysfunction who are unable to make a fist.
When the median nerve is compressed, it can cause pain in the wrist, hand, and forearm. We’ve seen patients who’ve had pain that extends up to their shoulders. Similar to other carpal tunnel symptoms, pain begins steadily over time. It is often a symptom that occurs later on and usually develops following numbness and, occasionally, weakness.
How Chiropractic Works to Eliminate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chiropractic care for carpal tunnel syndrome directly addresses the heart of this painful condition, which is nerve function. Sensation and movement are improved when the nerves are working properly. Life Source Chiropractic also focuses on the person as a whole. We stress dietary and lifestyle changes designed to enhance overall well-being.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Chiropractic Interventions
When patients visit our office, we pay attention to what they have to say. We then conduct a complete physical examination and any necessary testing to see what their body can tell us. As soon as we have a better understanding of a patient’s pain, we can then develop a comprehensive care plan designed to create a future without pain by utilizing a number of chiropractic techniques.
The bones of the wrist are carefully manipulated during a chiropractic adjustment. Using this technique, any bones that are painfully pressing against the median nerve can be released. Range of motion improves when the carpal tunnel bones are precisely aligned.
Soft Tissue Work
Soft tissue work relieves discomfort by releasing any muscular tension that prevents the carpal tunnel from functioning properly. We frequently use specific soft tissue techniques that release the muscles from any scar tissue that might limit mobility. Pain usually decreases as function improves.
We use exercise to reduce pain because exercise improves blood flow and allows oxygen-rich blood and essential nutrients to reach damaged tissues. The specific exercises we provide for our patients strengthen the entire upper body, which also enhances overall function.