- Northwoods Health Centre
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is most often caused by pressure on the median nerve just above the wrist. The Carpal Tunnel is named for the area of your wrist containing the carpal bones, the transverse carpal ligament, the median nerve, and the tendons controlling finger and hand movement. Pressure on the median nerve may occur due to injury (for example, a sudden bending back of the wrist) or sustained pressure from activities like typing, texting, chopping, hammering or pushing. CTS and related strain injuries have a range of similar symptoms. some warning signs are pain (which can be severe), numbness, a tingling or burning sensation, and weakness or loss of grip strength. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult your chiropractor as soon as possible. The earlier CTS is treated, the easier and quicker the recovery.
There are many ways to treat CTS depending on the individual severity and other considerations. In most cases, however, chiropractic manipulation of the affected wrist area (and perhaps spinal manipulation) can be very effective. Usually your doctor will x-ray the wrist area to determine the extent of the injury. Some physicians might prescribe medications and/or inject cortico-steroids which many temporarily alleviate pain and swelling however in many cases the symptoms may return. Your doctor might recommend surgery especially in extreme cases. However, surgery may lead to scarring of the transverse ligament. The scars can further irritate the median nerve causing the symptoms to reoccur. Surgery may also weaken the ligament and should only be considered if conservative treatment fails to correct the problem. CTS has become one of the most significant medical problems affecting workers at the turn of the century. The U.S. Dept. of Labor reports that carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion disorders now account for over 60 percent of all workplace injuries. Computer users have joined assembly line workers, meat packers, building tradesmen, cashiers, and athletes as victims of repetitive strain injures to be dubbed "the Number One occupational hazard of the 1990's". CTS is becoming one of the most widespread of occupational hazards. It can be painful and debilitating. Early treatment can lead to a quicker and easier recovery. Chiropractic manipulation is proven to be one of the most effective methods of treatment. Regardless of the treatment, full recovery will only come about by avoiding stressful situations and changing work habits. Your physician can advice as soon as possible. Remember, consult your chiropractor prior to surgery.