Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition that results from the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway located in the wrist. This compression is often due to various factors. 

Repetitive hand and wrist movements, particularly when they involve bending the hand down (flexion), can over time cause inflammation and swelling of the tendons located in the carpal tunnel, leading to nerve compression. It’s common in professions requiring continuous wrist motion, such as typing, assembly line work, or certain musical instruments. 

Anatomical factors can also contribute to the onset of CTS. Wrist fractures or dislocations can alter the space within the carpal tunnel, increasing pressure on the median nerve. Additionally, some people have a naturally smaller carpal tunnel, making them more susceptible to this syndrome. 

Underlying health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders can also increase the risk of CTS, due to systemic inflammation or altered nerve function. Obesity is another risk factor due to increased pressure in the carpal tunnel. 

Lastly, hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause fluid retention, leading to swelling and thus, median nerve compression, resulting in CTS. 

How Do Chiropractors Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

At Urban Chiropractic, we adopt a comprehensive, non-invasive approach to treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The treatment often begins with a detailed examination to understand the condition’s severity and identify any underlying issues, such as misalignments in the spine or wrist, that may contribute to the condition. 

One key treatment method we employ is chiropractic adjustment, which includes manipulation of the wrist, arm, and upper spine. By realigning the bones and joints, pressure on the median nerve can be alleviated, reducing the symptoms of CTS. We can also use ultrasound therapy, a non-invasive technique that uses sound waves to generate heat deep inside the affected area. This heat can help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling, promoting healing. 

Soft tissue mobilization techniques, like Active Release Technique (ART), are also employed. These methods break down scar tissue and adhesions in and around the carpal tunnel, freeing the nerve from any entrapment. 

Moreover, we provide ergonomic advice and exercises to patients for home care. We educate patients on proper wrist movement, positioning, and exercises that can strengthen the wrist and hand, preventing further strain or injury. Our ultimate goal is to restore normal function, alleviate pain, and prevent surgery where possible.