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Everything You Need To Know About Carpal Tunnel

Learn what carpal tunnel syndrome is, what causes it, and how routine chiropractic care can provide natural relief.

New Patient Special
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Repetitive tasks, no matter how enjoyable they may be, such as typing, sewing, knitting, line work, or even playing a musical instrument can take a toll on your hands and wrists over time.

Consistent movement, pressure, vibration, or positioning of the hand begins to wear down tissues, irritate spaces within the structure of the hand and wrist, and cause inflammation. As deterioration continues, numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm soon follow often relating to carpal tunnel syndrome.

According to the Rheumatology Research Foundation, up to 10 million Americans suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome greatly reducing their ability to perform any task with the afflicted hand(s) without pain.

If you or a loved one are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, there are many natural chiropractic treatments to restore your quality of life by treating the cause behind carpal tunnel thereby reducing chronic pain, numbness, and tingling while restoring mobility.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand called the median nerve, is squeezed, pinched, or compressed as it travels through the carpal tunnel located in the wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow channel that passes through the wrist and is bordered by bones and ligaments. It is where tendons (that allow for finger movement) and the median nerve (controls sensation and movement in the hand, thumb, and fingers) pass from the forearm through the wrist to the hand.

When tissues inside the carpal tunnel become inflamed, the median nerve gets pinched, squeezed, or compressed resulting in symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In most cases, the symptoms begin gradually over time, often without a specific injury.

You may find that your symptoms come and go at first with minor irritation. However, as the condition progresses, symptoms may occur more frequently, become more painful, or may persist for longer periods of time between episodes.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include:

  • Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain — primarily in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers.
  • Mild to severe pain, sometimes worse at night
  • Shock-like sensations that radiate to the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Difficulty grasping small objects
  • Pain or tingling that may travel up the forearm toward the shoulder
  • Weakness and clumsiness in the hand
  • Dropping things
  • A loss of proprioception (awareness of where your hand is in space)

Symptoms of carpal tunnel can vary in severity, and you may experience any variety of one or more of the above as the syndrome progresses.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by a combination of several different factors that vary on a case-to-case basis. Causes may include:

  • Heredity
  • Repetitive hand use
  • Hand and wrist position
  • Health conditions: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance are conditions that are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • A tumor or cyst in the carpal tunnel
  • Fluid retention due to menopause or pregnancy

Carpal tunnel syndrome is three times more likely in females than in males1 and individuals in certain professions are much more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than others. 

This includes manufacturing, finishing, meatpacking, sewing, and cleaning as well as positions that require the use of vibrating hands tools.

For most people, carpal tunnel syndrome gradually gets worse over time. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent dysfunction of the hand, including muscle atrophy, permanent nerve damage, and loss of sensation in the fingers. For this reason, it is essential to diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome at the first sign of symptoms.

Can you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

Awareness of how you use your hands and your wrists throughout the day is the first step in helping to prevent the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking precautions while at work and lifestyle changes can also help in the prevention of damage beginning to occur which include:

  • Use an ergonomically correct workstation that includes a wrist pad to support the correct positioning of your hand and wrist.
  • Take short breaks from repetitive tasks every 15 minutes.
  • Wear a wrist brace.
  • Use a loose grip.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Change hands when performing repetitive tasks to give your dominant wrist a break.
  • Stretch your handsome fingers, and wrists to promote blood flow and relieve tension.

How can chiropractic care help me?

Chiropractors are trained in all aspects of the human body structure and central nervous system from bones and muscles to nerve and disc health. This allows them to get to the root cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and treat the body as a whole to help prevent further damage and restore normal hand and wrist movement, function, and strength.

Gentle hand, wrist, neck, spine, and whole-body adjustments performed by a licensed chiropractor at Spine Stop Chiropractic allow the body's systems to function correctly by removing blockages, pressure, and inflammation. This allows your body to heal naturally from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Studies show that chiropractic care can provide a significant increase in grip strength and a normalization of senses (reduction and elimination of pain and tingling) within the hand and wrist.2 Manual therapy intervention also improves symptoms such as hand and forearm pain, night awakening, and paresthesia ( burning or prickling sensation in the hands)3.

Chiropractic Benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Include:

  • Natural, effective relief
  • Strengthens your body’s main support structures
  • Helps prevent chronic pain from developing
  • Restores hand and wrist movement, mobility, and strength
  • Proactive care to support wrist health, blood flow, and overall body wellness
  • Education and lifestyle recommendations to enhance healing, balance, strength, and more

If you or a loved one are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, our doctors here at Spine Stop Chiropractic can help restore your quality of life and get you back to the activities you love.

Contact us today for a consultation with one of our doctors and discover the natural way to relieve and prevent carpal tunnel symptoms.

We understand that not everyone is familiar with chiropractic care, so all new patients receive a consultation, examination and if necessary, an x-ray. Then our doctors will review your condition and walk you through an easy-to-follow treatment plan that’s unique to you.

There’s no pressure or commitment to go through treatment. Our friendly staff just wants to assess if you could benefit from personalized chiropractic care.

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office on Women's Health - February 22, 2021 - Carpal tunnel syndrome - medical review by:Mustafa Haque, M.D., Georgetown University Hospital:
  2. Valente R, Gibson H. Chiropractic manipulation in carpal tunnel syndrome. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1994 May;17(4):246-9. PMID: 8046280.
  3. Maddali Bongi S, Signorini M, Bassetti M, Del Rosso A, Orlandi M, De Scisciolo G. A manual therapy intervention improves symptoms in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: a pilot study. Rheumatol Int. 2013 May;33(5):1233-41. doi: 10.1007/s00296-012-2507-0. Epub 2012 Oct 11. PMID: 23064542.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Calm your nerves with answers to the most commonly asked questions among new patients.

Do I have to be popped during my treatment?

Simply put, no. There are many adjusting techniques chiropractors use to remove nerve interference. Let the doctor know if you're concerned about being "popped."

Does it hurt to be adjusted by a chiropractor?

Most patients report painless adjustments. However, some experience involuntarily stiffness due to resisting the adjustment. This usually stops once they're able to relax.

How long does the average office visit take?

The first visit usually requires 30 to 45 minutes of a new patient's time. The following appointments usually last 10 to 15 minutes.

What's the difference between a chiropractor and a medical doctor?

Chiropractors remove nerve interference by correcting the spine's position. A medical doctor often refers patients to prescription drugs or surgery for pain management.

Related Therapy Stretches

Discover useful exercises to engage muscles for this condition.

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