Chiropractic – A Light at the End of the Carpal Tunnel

16 Jan
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Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common nerve entrapment syndrome. It is a painful condition caused by irritation or compression of the median nerve.  In one survey of the general population, approximately 14.4% reported having symptoms resembling CTS – including numbness, tingling, weakness and pain.  Patient complaints are usually limited to the thumb and index finger, but in some cases may also involve the rest of the hand, the wrist and even the forearm.

One of the most commonly reported causes of carpal tunnel symptoms is inflammation of the tendons passing through the carpal tunnel.  However, irritation of the median nerve can also be caused by displacement of one of the carpal bones, or irritation of the nerve at other locations – such as the neck, should or near the elbow. Activities known to contribute to this type of syndrome are those associated with repetitive contraction of the small muscles of the hand: like typing, knitting or sewing. However, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and stroke, CTS is most common among assembly-line workers.

Because Chiropractors are accustomed to dealing with problems of the joints, muscles and nerves, many patients with CTS will consult with their Chiropractor.This is a good thing, because although medical options can help reduce the intensity of CTS symptoms in the vast majority of cases, surgery can be rather expensive, plus the success rate for complete resolution from carpal tunnel syndrome has been estimated as low as 60%.  Not to mention, there are also reported side-effects involved with surgery, including other nerve damage and delayed wound healing.

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