It is one of the most common occupational health problems affecting millions of people every year with numbers continuing to rise, largely thanks to our ever-increasing repetitive use of computers. This health problem of repetitive strain is identified as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on the median nerve located just above the carpal bones of the wrist that form a tunnel around the median nerve leading to the hand. It typically starts off as pain or numbness and tingling in the hands or wrists. The pain can often radiate from the hand up to the shoulder. Most often it is related to an injury caused by repetitive and forceful movements. These micro-traumas to hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitive movements, and stressful activities result in the swelling around the tendons and pinching of the median nerve. This compression causes the painful tingling, lack of muscle strength, and control in the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a risk to most workers who may work on computers, on a cash register, or an assembly line.
The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery; however there are alternative methods of treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and help repair the damaging effects. If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided with Chiropractic treatment being the leading method of non-surgical treatment.
Chiropractic treatment may involve various methods, for instance a combination of adjustments, rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. Other treatments may also include:
- Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has a long-term benefit;
- Bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting extension and flexion in the hand. The compression on the median nerve encourages recovery by easing the swelling in the tendons;
- Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
- Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem. Chiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains and provide long-term relief and recovery.
Everybody is different. If you have questions about whether Chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam