Carpal Tunnel Pain?
Did you know that just as nerves become pinched in your back by the bones in your spine, the bones in your wrist may also compress nearby nerves giving rise to the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome? While many people seek treatment through surgical means, our Franklin chiropractor at Franklin Family Chiropractic has had success in treating carpel tunnel syndrome through non-invasive adjustments to the bones of the wrist.
With surgical procedures costing anywhere between $6,000 and $11,000 dollars and only resulting in full resolution of symptoms in less than 60% of the cases, many people are beginning to elect a more conservative approach to care. For these reasons, our doctors at Franklin Family Chiropractic have prepared this short article to provide you some general information about carpal tunnel and the alternative treatment solutions available.
Carpal Tunnel in Franklin
Many people visit our clinic with complaints of wrist pain and questions regarding what exactly carpal tunnel syndrome feels like. Typically, as the median nerve is compressed due to swelling and bony misalignments of the wrist, patients begin to feel sensations of burning, pain, tingling, or swelling extending from the first to the third digit and the thumb. It is not uncommon for patients to report that they have recently noticed weakness throughout the affected hand or that picking up small objects isn’t as easy as usual. Occasionally people develop the feeling of swelling in their hand as the median nerve becomes compressed, even when no swelling is present.
In addition to questions about what carpal tunnel syndrome feels like, patients often wonder how they developed the condition. Typically, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t completely evident. However, some patients are able to recall an injury to the wrist that caused the symptoms to develop shortly after. Certain occupations have also been shown to contribute to the development of the condition with jobs that involve long-term use of vibrating instruments and the repetitious use of the hands and wrist topping the list. Finally, metabolic disorders involving the pituitary and thyroid gland can also contribute to its development.
Depending on the activity, carpal tunnel typically begins in a person’s dominant hand, but symptoms throughout both hands is not uncommon. Unfortunately, many health care professionals only focus on the site of pain when the problem actually lies elsewhere. In fact, it has been shown that patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms typically have nerve irritation stemming from the spine. This is often why carpal tunnel decompression surgeries are unsuccessful nearly 40% of the time. While carpal tunnel is more common in the dominant hand, it is also nearly 3 times more common in women due to the size of the tunnel itself.
What Exactly is Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve where it passes over the carpal bones through a passage at the front of the wrist, alongside the flexor tendons of the hand. It may be caused by repetitive movements over a long period, or by fluid retention, and is characterized by sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning.
These are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and the agitator is typically a computer job, but I wish it were as easy as cutting the transverse ligament and ‘all is well’.
First, let’s discuss what carpal tunnel is not. The symptoms of carpal tunnel are very specific to the median nerve, so often times the symptoms people experience are vastly different but lumped into this category and then there is a misdiagnosis.
In the chain of command, the cervical spine (neck), shoulder, elbow, and wrist bones themselves are usually players. If the hand was operating by its own cognizance, we could isolate the problem there, but it is much to complicated. In fact, if you could trace back this chain of command you could find that the body has a full radiculopathy. This means that the brain runs down the cord past the discs through the nerves, past all the previous landmarks to your hand. It is a posture/movement issue, nearly all of the time.
Even if you diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome with the more common thoracic outlet syndrome, the cause is the same. The body needs realigned, reset new posture, and proper movement.
How We Treat it
When Franklin Family Chiropractic treats carpal tunnel syndrome we adjust the entire chain of command. Likely, there are a wide variety of specific stretches that can and should be done daily. You have to understand. Surgery will provide temporary space and relief and a brace will pump back the lymph fluid as long as you wear it, but scar tissue will form. And if you keep the same job, your mechanics wouldn’t have changed. This is an issue that needs retraining and serious work to get resolved.
The swelling: Anywhere there is compression of nerves, arteries, and veins, you will get stagnation in the lymph fluid and swelling. Adjusting the wrist, especially the lunate bone Will bring back better movement. Kinesiotape and flexor muscle stripping are also options to go along with the adjustment.
Correcting carpal tunnel syndrome the natural and chiropractic way has long term benefits. Your carpal tunnel is a red flag for the entire chain of bio mechanics that needs to be corrected for resolution of this problem and a good long career or life using your hands!
The difference for your life is: What do you do with this? What is the Quality of Life that you want to have? Who is on Team You? At Franklin Family Chiropractic, we work with the three causes of stress and pain in the body: Physical, Mental, Emotional. Is the cause of all your stress and pain still there? It is about getting the spine in line and also being your health coach and to live a better quality of life.
What are the Best Treatments Available?
The most appropriate treatment for your carpal tunnel syndrome largely depends on the underlying cause. As with most conditions, it is advised that patients begin with a non-invasive and more affordable treatment. While prescription medications, decompression surgeries, and forms of physical therapy may provide short-term relief, the symptoms often reappear without the correction of the nerve interference in the spine. Your chiropractor at Franklin Family Chiropractic will perform an evaluation of your condition and formulate an individualized treatment plan that best suits you. Following spinal corrections, many patients experience substantial improvements of their symptoms. If symptoms persist, adjustments to the bones of the wrist and therapies to the surrounding tissues is often considered.
At Franklin Family Chiropractic in Franklin, TN we understand that making decisions about how to treat carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult. If you would like more information about carpal tunnel or to schedule a consultation, contact our clinic today.
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