Carpal Tunnel Pain Chicago
Have you ever experienced pain and tingling in your fingers or your hand for no apparent reason? You may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
The carpal tunnel is a small hole in your wrist bone through which the median nerve and several tendons travel. If the tunnel becomes restricted for any reason, the pressure on the nerve and tendons can cause pain and tingling, especially in your thumb and first three finger (not your pinky finger). Some people with carpal tunnel syndrome will feel pain in their forearm and even their elbow.
The restriction of the carpal tunnel and the subsequent carpal tunnel syndrome are most frequently caused by a repetitive stress injury (RSI): essentially, performing the same movement over and over and over again until the area of the body involved becomes inflamed.
In today’s world of computers and smart phones, RSIs have become increasingly common because our hands, wrists, and arms are performing detailed-oriented movements that they are not really built for. Our bodies are adaptable but only to a certain degree. When we perform those same movements for sometimes hours on end, inflammation can occur.
There are other causes of restriction of the carpal tunnel. These include, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even pregnancy. In these cases, if the condition is treated and managed properly, or in the case of pregnancy, once the pregnancy ends, generally carpal tunnel syndrome will subside.
Traditional treatments for carpal tunnel involves treating any underlying problems (such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, etc.), taking anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil), taking regular breaks during repetitive motions that may cause carpal tunnel syndrome (like factory work and jobs that involve a lot of computer work), icing the affected wrist, and wearing wrist braces. Wearing wrist braces at night while you sleep is highly advised because, even though you aren’t making the repetitive motion that can cause carpal tunnel at that time, many patients seem to experience the most pain at night. Wrist braces can keep this pain from disturbing your sleep.
In extreme cases where the prior treatments have proved ineffective, a physician may suggest surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome patients who are still in distress. During a surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, the surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament, which generally releases pressure on the median nerve and therefore relieves carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The surgery can be done in an “open” format or endoscopically (through a small tube) and in both cases is usually an outpatient surgery.
However, there are some downsides to carpal tunnel surgery. First of all, it’s a surgery and there are risks of complications with any surgery. Secondly, while the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome may subside right away, in some patients it can take weeks or even months to go away. Furthermore, since the surgeon cut a ligament, some patients experience loss of strength in their grip or pinch. This is usually temporary.
The biggest problem with carpal tunnel surgery for most people is the recovery time. If carpal tunnel syndrome developed because of a repetitive stress injury, in many cases you will not be able to do that motion for six to eight weeks after surgery. For the majority of carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers, their RSI is related to their job and very few people can afford to take six to eight weeks away from work.
Fortunately, many patients find chiropractic treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome to make surgery unnecessary. As with all chiropractic treatments, treatment for carpal tunnel is non-invasive and does not involve taking medication.
If you start feeling symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is best to visit a chiropractor sooner rather than later. While chiropractors can perform subtle adjustments to your wrists and arms to make sure everything is aligned properly, new studies have revealed that chiropractic adjustments to your spine may help alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome as well.
This research has revealed that in many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is related to more than just the moving parts in our hands, wrists, and arms. The study found that people with carpal tunnel syndrome are more likely to have restrictions in their neck movement. This suggests that, in some cases, the wrist, arm, and hand pain may be due to alignment problems in the neck and upper back.
Chiropractic treatment that focuses on the neck, back, and upper spine, can often greatly reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and, in some cases, eliminate the problem all together. It also indicates that preventative chiropractic treatment may stave off carpal tunnel syndrome or greatly reduce its impact when it does set in.
We strongly urge anyone suffering with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors today. The sooner we begin to treat your carpal tunnel, the easier it will be to eradicate it. We especially encourage anyone considering surgery for carpal tunnel surgery to try chiropractic treatments first, as our methods are safe and non-invasive and do not come with the price tag of a surgery or the downtime of the post-surgery recovery.