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Carpal Tunnel is the most common upper extremity entrapment neuropathy and is due to the compression of the median nerve which travels from the neck to the wrist through the Carpal Tunnel. This compression causes tingling and pain in the hands.
Carpal Tunnel impacts around 3% of the population. It is more common in females. (1) It is unsure as to why that may be the case, though common theories include smaller wrists and hormonal changes.
Common causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
Common symptoms include pain and sensation changes in the hands. Sensation changes include numbness and tingling. There may be weakness with grip strength and the fingers may feel swollen.
Carpal Tunnel is diagnosed through an in-depth history and a physical exam. There may be additional testing such as imaging if required.
Carpal Tunnel is unlikely to go away without being treated if the patient’s symptoms have already started. If left untreated, the symptoms may increase leading to weakness, instability, and permanent nerve damage.
Even though there are no proven methods to avoid Carpal Tunnel, there are ways to minimize the pain, including:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has musculoskeletal factors that Chiropractors may be able to help manage.
Chiropractic care is a non-surgical and more conservative method of care. Chiropractic care mostly focuses on the neck and spine which can contribute to Carpal Tunnel. However, a Chiropractor may use mobilization and adjustments of the hand, wrist and elbow to further ease the pain. A misaligned joint puts tension on the nerves and adjustments can ease the pressure. Furthermore, a Chiropractor will look at your complete alignment to diagnose your postural dysfunctions as well as compensatory mechanisms that may be playing into the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The Chiropractor will thoroughly assess your condition and will refer you to a specialist if conservative care provides no results, or symptoms drastically increase.
Carpal Tunnel is an upper entrapment neuropathy that causes pain and sensation changes in the wrists and hand. This is due to the compression of the median nerve that travels through the wrist. If left untreated the symptoms may increase and cause permanent nerve damage. A Chiropractor can approach the condition in a conservative manner with adjustments of the joints and mobilisations before referring out if required.
(1) Atroshi I, Gummesson C, Johnsson R, Ornstein E, Ranstam J, Rosén I. Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel syndrome in a general population. JAMA. 1999;282(2):153-158.