Pain in Your Hand and Wrist? Consider Carpal Tunnel Treatment

April 20, 2015

Do you experience frequent hand pain or numbness? Do your fingers swell and feel useless? Have you tried different remedies but haven't found a solution?

You may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that runs between the bones of your wrist. The appropriately named tunnel contains the median nerve, which connects to your fingers (except the pinky). The important nerve controls sensation in those fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the passageway becomes inflamed and begins to constrict your median nerve.

Symptoms of CTS

Carpal tunnel might start with pain in your wrists and hands. However, because carpal tunnel compresses the median nerve, it has several symptoms that differentiate it from muscle strain or regular inflammation.

Here is a quick list of symptoms that indicate you might have carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Pain. In the beginning, people feel pain, tingling, itchiness, and burning sensations in the thumb, palm, and fingers (primarily on the palm sides of the index, middle, and ring finger). Often these sensations occur in both hands, even if carpal tunnel syndrome only affects one hand directly.
  • Numbness. With CTS, hands and fingers become numb and swell. Some people feel swelling even when no swelling seems present. Eventually, those with CTS lose their ability to feel pain, hot, and cold in these areas.
  • Fatigue. Often people will feel weakness in their hands and their grip. Some lose coordination in their hands, leading them to drop items and feel unable to lift anything.
  • Loss of control. Advanced cases experience loss of feeling and even control of the hand and fingers.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should talk to an expert to help diagnose the cause behind your condition.

Causes of CTS

At the moment, scientists and doctors have yet to determine a primary cause behind CTS. However, certain factors increase your risk for the syndrome, including:

  • Personal posture
  • Repetitive actions such as typing or assembly line work
  • Narrower carpal tunnels for some than others
  • Injury

Your condition could have started from one or a mix of these risks factors. Fortunately, you can take steps to treat CTS.

Treatments for CTS

Chiropractors offer useful treatments to relax the nerves in your arm, neck, and back. By relieving this pressure, you can counteract the pain and the more advanced symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Standard treatments for CTS include:

  • Initial Therapy and Education. Chiropractors initially give patients instructions to prevent further complications. They will assist you in identifying bad habits, such as improper posture, that aggravate symptoms. They will also give you cooling packs to reduce inflammation and tips to reduce strain.
  • Massage and Alignment. Patients often need proper relaxation and alignment to reduce their CTS. Massage relaxes muscles and ligaments, easing the stress your median nerve experiences. Chiropractors relax other nerves as well, improving your overall alignment.
  • Wrist Support. Some individuals sleep with their writs flexed, which contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome. Nighttime splints put your wrist in a relaxed position, giving you a better chance to recover. You can also opt to wear them during the day.
  • Ultrasound Therapy. Chiropractors can use ultrasound therapies to target tense muscles. Ultrasounds can reach deep into your wrist and relax key muscles that contribute to CTS.  

While carpal tunnel can cause multiple problems, you can find relief with proper treatments. If you suffer from symptoms that could indicate carpal tunnel syndrome, you should seek out an official diagnosis. Consult with a professional to find the right treatments for your hand and joint pain, so you can quickly return to doing your favorite activities.