If you spend much of your day performing repetitive motions with your hands (such as typing or playing an instrument), you might suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel occurs due to persistent pressure on the nerves in your wrist, leading to tingling, numbness, and discomfort in the hands. There are a number of treatments that can be effective in relieving carpal tunnel pain, ranging from wearing wrist splints for minor pain to surgery in the most severe cases. No two patients are quite the same in how they react to various treatments, so if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s important to find out exactly what works for you. Read on for more information on common solutions to alleviate pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Mild cases of carpal tunnel can often be treated with a few minor lifestyle changes. This will often include avoiding or decreasing the frequency of the activities that caused the condition in the first place. If the patient cannot avoid the activity altogether (say, typing for someone who works as a secretary), he or she may need to wear wrist splints to prevent pressure on the wrists while typing.
Anti-inflammation medications may be prescribed to patients suffering carpal tunnel syndrome to provide some relief from the pain — but these medicines won’t actually treat carpal tunnel. Occasionally, a doctor will use corticosteroid injections. This can provide longer term pain relief, and even reduce the amount of inflammation over time.
In the most severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may be required if other treatments have proven to be ineffective. The purpose of surgery is to cut the ligament that is applying pressure to the median nerve. Surgery often results in less pain within a few days to a week, but also requires several months to fully heal. Unfortunately, it is common for pain to return within a few years of surgery if no lifestyle changes take place.
Many doctors have come to conclude that the root cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not in the hand or wrist, but in the spine. For this reason, many patients who don’t find relief from medications will result to chiropractic care for treatment instead of surgery. Chiropractors will make gentle adjustments to the spine and neck, and use trigger point therapy to relieve pain and address the origin of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Finding an Experienced Chiropractor
If you suffer from carpal tunnel and think that chiropractic care might be an effective part of your treatment plan, reach out to your primary care physician for chiropractor recommendations. When narrowing down your options, make sure to ask what experience a given chiropractor has working with carpal tunnel patients. Chiropractic care can often be an important and effective part of a treatment plan for carpal tunnel, but your results are likely to only be as good as the chiropractor you visit. Taking the time to find an experienced and reputable chiropractor will increase your odds of finding relief through chiropractic care.