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Does Chiropractic Play a Role in Caring for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) Patients?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a problem of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand. CTS occurs when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel—a narrow tunnel at the wrist—made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. The symptoms are burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index, and middle fingers are most common. Some people with CTS say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. Since many people sleep with flexed wrists, the symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms worsen, they may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb. Some are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch. Treatment for CTS includes: resting the affected hand and wrist, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms, immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending, and applying cool packs to help reduce swelling from inflammations.

Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga can be helpful. Scientists are also investigating other therapies, such as acupuncture, that may help prevent and treat this disorder.  All chiropractors are trained in the diagnosis and care of these types of nerve entrapment syndromes so think conservative care alleviation and maintaining function.  Exactly what chiropractic is designed to do and all naturally!

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