- Any repetitive motion
- Bending at the wrist
- Vibrations going through the wrist
Signs and SymptomsCarpal tunnel can sneak up when least expected. Most individuals begin to feel a burning, tingling, or numbness in the thumb and first two fingers, and for some, the palm, as well. Discomfort or pain usually presents at night and in the morning. If the condition becomes worse, individuals often feel the need to shake out the hand or wrists, trying to bring relief from the pain and tightness. It can affect one hand or both hands. The pain can continue to increase and climb up the arm. Then normal tasks like pumping gas or writing with a pen become unbearable.
Carpal Tunnel SyndromeThe median nerve controls the sensations to the palm, the thumb, and the four fingers of the hand. The nerve runs through a small passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Swelling or thickening of the tendons narrow the tight space and irritate the nerve.
DiagnosisThere are different ways to diagnose the condition. To avoid damaging the median nerve, it is important to get a diagnosis as early as possible.
- A doctor or chiropractor may order orthopedic or neurological testing.
- They might perform a nerve conduction study, where small electrodes are placed on the wrists and fingers, then small amounts of electrical current are run through the electrodes.
- The speed at which the nerves transmit the electric conduction is measured.
TreatmentThe most common treatment is complete rest of the affected hand/s and wrist/s for fourteen to twenty-one days. Other treatments include:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Stretches for the hands, arms, and wrists.
- Strengthening exercises for the hands, arms, and wrists.
There is Still Pain At Night or When DrivingThis is common and in many cases is brought on from bending the wrist. Recommended tips to help ease the pain of carpal tunnel include:
- Stretch hands and arms before driving
- Position hands at 3 and 9 o’clock on the wheel
- Wear a brace that will keep the wrist and hand straight
- Keep hands warm by wearing driving gloves
- Apply pain ointment/cream before driving and keep on hand
Chiropractic HelpA chiropractor is a highly trained specialist in the entire body’s musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment can help avoid developing chronic pain and surgery in the future. Correcting subluxations and restoring optimal blood and nerve energy flow in the arms, hands, and rest of the body is the objective. Chiropractic investigates and treats the compression of nerves anywhere in the body, including the forearm and wrist. Realigning the spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist, blood circulation and nerve impulses will flow freely once again. A chiropractor could also recommend:
- Heat/Ice therapy
- Physical rehabilitation therapy
- TENS device
- Infrared laser treatments
Soluble and Insoluble FiberAll plant-based foods are generally a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel substance when it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Foods high in soluble fiber include:
- Oat products
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole-grain couscous