Chiropractic Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to; numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage to parts of the hand including the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger.


Possible Causes of CTS:

  • Driving
  • Painting
  • Playing some musical instruments
  • Playing sports such as racquetball or handball
  • Sewing
  • Using tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate)
  • Working on an assembly line
  • Writing

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Remember: Symptoms may be present in one or both wrists/hands at the same time.
  • Unusual clumsiness of the hand when gripping objects
  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers
  • Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
  • Pain extending to the elbow
  • Pain in the wrist or hand
  • Problems with fine finger movements (coordination)
  • Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)
  • Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
  • Weakness in effected hand/hands

Medical Problems Associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Alcoholism
  • Bone fractures
  • Arthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Infections
  • Kidney failure (dialysis treatment due to kidney failure)
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

What Can Dr. Harter Do?

While some physicians will prescribe medications or inject corticosteroids to temporarily relieve pain and swelling, it does not treat the problem. Some doctors might recommend surgery in extreme cases. However, surgery can scar the ligament and will result in it becoming weakened and ultimately, symptoms will reoccur. Be sure to consult your chiropractor prior to surgery, as it should be your last resort.

Chiropractic manipulation has shown to be the most effective method of carpal tunnel treatment because chiropractors are experts in the nervous system. Dr. Harter may first perform an x-ray to determine the extent of the injury. He will then work to eliminate carpal tunnel syndrome by adjusting your wrist joints, elbows, shoulders, neck, and even your back. The median nerve stems through all of those locations so it is important to consider a pinched or inflamed nerve not only in the wrist, but elsewhere. It is important to know that it may take multiple visits before the condition is relieved. Until your condition is corrected, Dr. Harter may recommend wearing a wrist support which often helps to relieve symptoms, even while sleeping. He may also suggest varying your daily activities so you don't keep the same amount of pressure on your wrist all day. Other important alleviating factors to consider are: keeping your wrist straight when grasping items, performing stretching exercises, utilizing the use of heat and cold as prescribed by the chiropractor, and taking frequent breaks from using your hands. It is also vital to keep good posture and wrist position when working. You might want to try wearing fingerless gloves so your hands are warm and flexible. All of these preventative measures will help you avoid the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Did You Know?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. The American Chiropractic Association states carpal tunnel is one of the most expensive workplace injuries. An individual who is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome may lose upward of $30,000 over the course of a lifetime through treatment and time off work. Early identification and chiropractic treatment of this problem may help to save time off work and prevent surgery!!!

Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel?

  • Typing on a computer keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel.
  • Although typing is the most common cause, frequent texting is also becoming a major cause of CTS.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs more commonly in women than men.
  • People aged 30-60 are the most frequent age category to have CTS.
  • Without chiropractic care, and prolonged suffering from CTS can lead to permanent nerve damage to the wrist, palm, and fingers.

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