Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) has become one of the most widespread occupational health problems we face today.
It affects millions of people a year, and with our growing reliance on computers there seems to be no end in sight. The syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve just above the wrist. Pressure on this nerve can be caused by an injury or sustained use from common activities like typing, chopping, hammering, or pushing.
Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors
The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the “thumb side” of the hand (the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger).
The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is normally narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Typing on a computer keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel. Other causes include:
- Assembly line work
- Use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate)
- Sports such as racquetball or handball
- Playing some musical instruments
The condition occurs most often in people 30 to 60 years old, and is more common in women than men.
There are a number of different ways to treat this condition. In most cases, a chiropractic adjustment to the affected area is an extremely effective solution. In some cases, a misalignment in either the back or neck can cause this condition, and chiropractic manipulation of the neck and/or spine can also serve as an effective treatment option. These treatments, along with physical therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises, can in most cases effectively alleviate and eventually eliminate the symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If you have questions or think you might be suffering with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact us today!