The carpal tunnel is located on the palm side of your hand and along the median nerve and is surrounded by bones and ligaments. When the median nerve is compressed, it causes a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain and several other symptoms. Fortunately, this is a condition that can be treated by the professionals at Andersen Chiropractic Health.
Who Is At Risk For Carpal Tunnel?
Although anyone can develop carpal tunnel, there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing this condition. These include:
- Anatomic factors: If you have a smaller carpal tunnel than most people, your chances of getting carpal tunnel increase. The same is true if you have broken your wrist in the past or if you have arthritis. All these issues can change the space in the carpal tunnel, which will put pressure on the median nerve.
- Gender: Because women generally have smaller wrists than men, they are at greater risk for carpal tunnel.
- Nerve damaging illnesses: If you have any nerve-damaging illnesses such as diabetes, your median nerve can be damaged, which can cause carpal tunnel.
- Inflammatory conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions can affect the lining around the tendons in your wrist, putting you at greater risk.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of carpal tunnel.
- Workplace factors: Your jobs can put you at risk for this condition. If you work with vibrating tools all day or flex your wrist while typing, you are at greater risk.
What Are the Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
In the early stages, the carpal tunnel causes numbness and tingling in the fingers and hands. In most cases, all the fingers but the pinky finger are affected. Over time, the sensation can travel up your arm.
In the later stages, you will experience weakness in your hands, making it difficult to hold objects. In the later stages, pain is common.
How Carpal Tunnel Is Diagnosed
There are a few ways that this condition can be diagnosed. These include:
- History of your symptoms: Your doctor will want to know about your symptoms, how long you have had symptoms, and how severe they have become.
- Physical examination: During the physical exam, your doctor will test the feeling in your fingers and the strength in your hand. They will bend your wrist and tap the nerve, which will trigger symptoms so they can get a better idea.
- X-ray: X-rays cannot detect carpal tunnel, but they help rule out any other injury or condition that could be causing the symptoms.
- Nerve conduction study: This test is used to diagnose carpal tunnel and rule out any other conditions that could be causing the symptoms.
- Electromyography: This test is used to identify damage to the muscles controlled by the median nerve.
How Can a Chiropractor Treat Carpal Tunnel?
Chiropractic care is an excellent way to treat this condition. A chiropractor can treat carpal tunnel without the use of medication or through surgery. If your chiropractor determines that the problem is in your upper spine, they will relieve pressure on the nerve. If the condition is due to pressure at the carpal tunnel, your chiropractor will use gentle manipulation of the wrist and elbow to treat the condition.
Call Andersen Chiropractic Health in Champaign, IL
If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, schedule an appointment with Andersen Chiropractic Health in Champaign, IL. After your first visit with our chiropractor, you should feel some relief. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.