Carpal tunnel syndrome is often identified by tingling, numbness, and weakness in the thumb, index, or middle finger. It involves problems with the wrists and hands, and is becoming more and more common because of the frequency of computer and cell phone use.
People who perform repetitive motions with their hands, like cashiers, hairdressers, typists, and mechanics, are more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a fibrous band of tissue located on the front side of the wrist, or in the same area as your wrist watch. It holds many of the nerves, tendons, and blood vessels that your hand needs in order to function. When the carpal tunnel is damaged and pressure is put on the arteries and nerves in the hand and wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't just happen overnight. It takes weeks or months for the painful symptoms to show themselves, and they will only get worse if left untreated.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can present itself in more way than just pain. Symptoms can include clumsiness or weakness in the hands and muscle loss in the palms. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be aggravated by diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, or thyroid problems. Typically, it is repetitive behaviors that exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome.
For example, people who work on computers all day are at higher risk due to the continual strain put on the muscles of the hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders. Repetitive strain injuries can easily be prevented with workplace ergonomics and by taking regular breaks to stretch and change positions. We can advise you on the best stretches you can do to prevent yourself from suffering due to repetitive strain injuries!
Capral tunnel syndrome has traditionally been treated by medical doctors with injections, splints, surgery, or with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or Advil. However, here at Williamsburg Chiropractic, we can treat carpal tunnel with joint manipulation or mobilization to help your wrist and joints move more freely. Most chiropractors can also use soft tissue treatments to relieve muscle tension that may be impinging the nerves. There are plenty of exercises to specifically minimize muscle strain while improving muscle strength.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call. We'll be happy to help!