Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and often debilitating condition which affects those who make frequent repetitive movements with their hands, often as part of their employment. Aside from the discomfort it causes, CTS can prevent sufferers from completing their work, making it an especially inconvenient and expensive condition. However, CTS rarely causes permanent damage, and along with the generally prescribed rest and ice, you can also receive carpal tunnel treatment and management techniques at Shaw Chiropractic.
The symptoms of CTS are hard to miss. Pain in the hand, thumb, and first three fingers is the most common sign. (CTS does not cause pain in the little finger.) This pain can be intense and can radiate up into the forearm. You may also experience itching, weakness, tingling, or numbness, or a swollen feeling not associated with actual significant swelling--all of these symptoms located in the hand, thumb, and first three fingers. These symptoms often begin while you are sleeping, but may show up during the day as the condition worsens. Other possible symptoms include insensitivity to hot and cold, and a decrease in muscle at the base of the thumb.
All of these symptoms occur because of swelling in the carpal tunnel, a tubular structure in your arm which protects the median nerve. This puts pressure on this nerve, which is why a problem with swelling which occurs inside the wrist is mainly felt in the hand. Risk factors include genetics leading to a smaller carpal tunnel, injuries to the hand, wrist, or arm, pregnancy and menopause, and various conditions which cause or exacerbate swelling.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The primary treatments for CTS are rest, ice, immobilization, and refraining from activities that require moving the wrist. But Dr. Shaw can also help ease CTS symptoms. Using joint manipulation and mobilization techniques, in addition to stretching and strengthening exercises, we can help you recover more quickly. We also offer coaching in proper posture and movement to prevent CTS from developing in the first place. If you have experienced carpal tunnel syndrome or believe you may be at risk for it, contact our office today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shaw, or request an appointment online. To confirm whether you have CTS, Dr. Shaw can perform several tests, involving either direct pressure on the median nerve, or asking you to perform movement which are likely to bring on symptoms. It's important to diagnose and treat CTS as soon as possible; if allowed to worsen, the condition can occasionally cause permanent nerve damage.