When the median nerve has pressure on it in the wrist area, it causes carpal tunnel symptoms. The most common symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the hand or wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs most frequently in people who do repetitive motions with their hands and wrists, such as typing, writing, golfing, playing music, knitting, and playing tennis. A wrist fracture can also lead to carpal tunnel pain, and so can rheumatoid arthritis.
Management and Prevention
Most people don’t think about preventing carpal tunnel until it’s already become a problem. However, managing it well during symptoms can help prevent it from worsening and can prevent the pain from becoming a persistent problem. Here are a few top tips for managing and preventing carpal tunnel symptoms:
- Pay attention to form – Whether you’re typing, knitting, or playing tennis, aim to maintain a relaxed form in your repetitive movements. This includes avoiding bending your wrist to its most flexible point.
- Relax your grip – The more force you use, the more stress will be put on your median nerve. When typing, playing an instrument, using a cash register, or writing, try to use lighter finger touches and reduces force and grip.
- Take breaks and stretch – Even if you’re not feeling discomfort while doing an exercise for an extended period of time, stretching during frequent breaks will help a great deal. Alternate tasks if you can so that you’re not spending hours doing one repetitive thing, and be sure to roll out your wrists and stretch them as often as you can.
- Stay warm – Studies have found that cold environments and those with regularly cold hands experience more carpal tunnel symptoms. If you can’t alter the temperature to your liking, try wearing gloves (fingerless ones work too), wearing long sleeves, or using a heater to keep your hands and wrists warm.
Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It may surprise you to learn that adjusting your spine can impact your wrist pain, but it can! Your spinal cord is the information highway for all the signals your brain sends your body. So when your vertebrae are even the tiniest bit out of place, those messages from the brain get interrupted. When the spine is in proper alignment, everything in your body functions more optimally, reducing pain and improving overall health. Additionally, some chiropractors will adjust your limbs or other joints beside your spine to ensure optimal mobility, improve joint health, and decrease pain.
If you’re struggling with carpal tunnel pain, whether it’s overwhelming and constant or minimal and rare, know that chiropractic can help! Dr. Thomas Keogh and the team at Bare Chiropractic in Billings are available to help you. Not only will they teach you all about the science behind chiropractic, but they will help you achieve optimal health, healing, and wellness. Contact Bare Chiropractic today to schedule your consultation.
Hulbert, J.R., Printon, R., Osterbauer, P., Davis, T., LaMaack, R. “Chiropractic treatment of hand and wrist pain in older people: systematic protocol development. Part 1: informant interviews.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2005; 4(3): 144-151. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647042/pdf/main.pdf
Valente, R., Gibson, H. “Chiropractic Manipulation in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1994 May; 17(4): 246-249. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8046280.