How Do I Know if I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes wrist pain as well as pain and numbness in your hands and fingers. This condition worsens over time, so it is best to identify and begin treatment as soon as possible. Having an examination by a trained medical professional at Life Chiropractic will help you make develop an individualized treatment plan.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?
- Hand numbness, tingling, and pain, primarily in the thumb and index, ring, and middle fingers. Sometimes the pain is a shock-like sensation.
- Weakness in your grip causing you to drop things and making it painful to perform functions like buttoning your clothes.
- Pain and tingling that travels from your hand, up your forearm, to your shoulder.
Symptoms often start out gradually and worsen over time.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel?
The median nerve and tendons that serve the hand and fingers pass over the carpal bones in the wrist through a passage known as the carpal tunnel. Inflammation and swelling in the wrist restrict the space through the passage and puts pressure against the median nerve. Increased pressure against this nerve results in pain and numbness in your hands and fingers.
Below is a shortlist of some situations that are known to lead to carpal tunnel:
Repetitive motion: Repeating the same motion with your hand or wrist over an extended period of time can cause inflammation and swelling of the tendons and the carpal ligament at the roof of the tunnel. The swollen tendons and ligaments decrease the space within the tunnel and puts pressure against the median nerve.
Overextending hand and wrist position: Constantly performing activities that keep the wrist and hand is an over-flexed or extended position puts added pressure on the median nerve. This can cause a dulling of nerve sensitivity and injury.
Repeated use of vibrating tools: Constant use of vibrating tools can cause injury to the median nerve.
Heredity: Some people have smaller carpal tunnels. The reduced space may make them more prone to have problems.
Injury: Sprain, fractures, and other injuries to your wrist can cause swelling and nerve damage.
Variety of health issues: Imbalances with your thyroid and pituitary glands, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other health conditions that cause swelling.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
- Surgery: Cutting the carpal ligament at the roof of the carpal tunnel increases room within the tunnel. The extra room releases pressure against the median nerve.
- Non-surgical treatment: Wrist braces keep the wrist straight and pressure off of the median nerve. Anti-inflammatory injections help to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. Hand and wrist exercises designed to allow the median nerve and tendons to move more freely through the carpal tunnel.
- Rest and activity change: Throughout your workday, make sure to change the activity being accomplished by your hands or give them rest periods.
Have the Numbness and Pain in Your Wrist and Hand Properly Assessed
Carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen if no action is taken to reverse its progress. An assessment by a trained medical professional is necessary to properly determine what is causing your condition. The trained personnel at Life Chiropractic located in the heart of Victorville, CA can help you make the appropriate assessment and help you in treating your condition. Call us today at 760-241-2000 and make an appointment.