What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Are you experiencing pins and needles in your hand? Does it radiate into the arm and shoulder? Chances are you may have carpal tunnel syndrome!

Carpal tunnel occurs in your thumb, index, and middle finger, typically shooting up through your wrist to your arm and shoulder. In addition to these symptoms, you may also experience:

  • Occasional shock sensations radiating from your thumb to your ring finger
  • Weakness in the hand, increasing prevalence of dropping things and inhibiting completion of simple, daily tasks (e.g. buttoning your clothes, pouring a glass of water, etc.)
  • Pain worse at night, hindering peaceful, comfortable sleep

Carpal tunnel can be caused by a range of factors. These include:

  • Congenital Factors – Some people are born with a narrower carpal tunnel than others, exacerbating median nerve pressure
  • Arthritis – Specifically, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and swelling of hand tissues, causing numbness, tingling, and overall weakness
  • Injuries – Wrist fractures can reduce the amount of space in the carpal tunnel. Additionally, awkward postures or repetitive movements can cause the carpal tunnel to become inflamed, also causing numbness
  • Pregnancy – The hormones associated with pregnancy can cause general fluid retention, softening the ligaments surrounding the carpal tunnel. This causes the median nerve to become compressed, leading to pins and needles and stiffness. However, pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome typically goes away not long after birth!

Carpal tunnel can be a significant impediment to your quality of life. However, don’t worry – our chiropractors are here to help! Chiropractic care can assist through:

  • Spinal / Arm Manipulation – A misaligned spine, or muscle tension in your arm, may be causing pain in your hand and wrist. Chiropractors can perform spinal and arm manipulation to mitigate pressure on the median nerve.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy – chiropractors can perform soft tissue techniques such as trigger point therapy, dry needling, and deep tissue massage to release trigger points / tense muscles contributing to carpal tunnel discomfort
  • Stretch and Exercise Plan – your chiropractor can develop a comprehensive stretch and exercise plan to improve wrist mobility and the health of the median nerve.

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