Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Panama City
With our increasing reliance on repetitive movements of the wrist and hand, every year more and more people are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). What is first experienced as a tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers can heighten in severity, and without treatment, loss of sensation and considerable pain can follow. While certain people are more subject to CTS due to their occupation or hobbies—knitters, musicians, and anyone who has to write by hand for several hours a day such as students—even regular use of a computer keyboard puts one at risk for this condition. Which is why today, millions of American have CTS, many of them suffering without adequate diagnosis or treatment.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In general, CTS can be characterized by as pain or discomfort in the wrist or hand, typically (though not always) caused by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is a nerve that runs from the shoulder all the way to the hand through the carpal tunnel, which is a sort of passageway in the anatomy of the forearm. Pinching or irritation of this nerve leads to symptoms of CTS. Some of those symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers, hands, and wrists
- Weakness throughout the arm
- Lack of dexterity or clumsiness
- Discomfort or pain in the palms
- Increased risk of muscular or nerve damage, leading to further complications
CTS is a chronic condition that is still poorly understood by practitioners of conventional medicine, which is why typical medical doctors treat it with painkillers that don’t address the source of the damage to the nerve, or else with surgery that can be dangerous and only occasionally successful at removing symptoms.
Main Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Like many of the conditions treated at the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic in Panama City, Florida, CTS is difficult to treat through conventional medical means because it can stem from one of several different causes. As mentioned, pinching in the median nerve is the most common version of CTS; however, this is not always the case.
Many people who suffer from CTS have impingement or subluxations in the neck, primarily the areas of C6-T1 vertebrae. This is one of the reasons wrist surgery fails in so many cases: these same symptoms can be induced by neck complications involving impingement from the misaligned vertebra (this same nerve, C7, goes through the wrist and becomes the median nerve when it hits the arm).
Another main cause of CTS is spasms of the pronator teres muscle, a muscle below the elbow on the side of the forearm. This muscle, if irritated or inflamed, can entrap the median nerve and lead to the characteristic tingling of CTS.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Contributing Factors
The main factor that contributes to CTS is, simply enough, how much punishment one subjects their hands and wrists to on a daily basis. CTS has long been linked to workplace injury, particularly when one performs repetitive motions using tools all day. Spending even a couple of hours a day using a keyboard or mouse puts one at risk for CTS, especially if any of these other contributing factors is present:
- Thyroid disorders or other hormonal imbalances
- Obesity, particularly when paired with improper diet or lack of exercise
- Previous injury to the hand or arm
- Menopause, pregnancy, or other conditions associated with fluid retention
- Damage to the nervous system such as that caused by chronic ailments
How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Functional treatment of CTS involves eliminating the root cause of impingement. This involves proper chiropractic spinal adjustments to remove the subluxation or nerve interference. Adjustments are not just limited to the neck; the wrist can also be adjusted as well, and the muscle spasm associated with the pronator teres muscle can be released to take pressure off the nerve. It’s usually best to treat all three levels to ensure full recovery and leave no stone unturned as it pertains to the symptoms.