There can be many causes if you are experiencing pain in your hand, including injury and disease. There are treatments available once the symptoms have been identified. If you are suffering from pain in your fingers, palm, wrist or forearm; and the pain is worse at night than during the day, then you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This is a common nerve disorder that affects 3% of the American population.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
In your arm, there is the median nerve that runs from your forearm to your hand through a small passageway in the wrist. The area in the wrist is called the carpal tunnel.This area of the wrist can swell and put pressure on the median nerve and lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Long term effects include nerve damage. It is important to receive Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment as early as possible.
Things that can cause swelling in the carpal tunnel:
- Illnesses like arthritis and thyroid disease
- Pregnancy (due to fluid retention)
- Repetitive hand movements
- Sprained or fractured wrists (any wrist injury)
Who is at Risk?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome develops almost exclusively in adults. It is rare for teens and younger children to develop this condition. Some people are more at risk because they have a genetic predisposition for CTS and often times it can “run in the family”, as the saying goes. People with this congenital predisposition for CTS have smaller carpal tunnels and it’s easy for pressure to be applied on the median nerve. Women are also three times more likely than men to develop CTS. This is due to a naturally smaller carpal tunnel compared to men, but it’s important to know anyone can suffer from CTS and should seek Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
At Align Chiropractic & Medical center we can prescribe the medications to reduce swelling and aid in pain relief. Studies have proven that specific chiropractic practices can improve nerve conduction, mobility, daily function, and improve sensations in the hand and fingers. Below this there are other types of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment and pain relief.
- Wrist Splinting – Keeps the wrists straight to avoid painful positions.
- Medication – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and more can reduce swelling.
- Corticosteroids – A doctor can inject the carpal tunnel with a drug like cortisone to relieve pain.
- Yoga – Studies have been revealing that specific yoga positions and exercises can reduce carpal tunnel pain
- Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery – An incision at the base of the palm is required to see the transverse carpal ligament. The ligament is cut and the incision is stitched closed. Complication rates are low and it is a outpatient procedure ( you can go home afterwards).
- Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel – A flexible tube with a camera is inserted through a small incision. Small cutters are inserted through another incision. The camera helps guide the doctor’s hand to cut the ligament. This operation usually results in less residual pain than open carpal tunnel surgery.
- Rest your hands during particularly long sets of repetitive motions.
- Stretch your whole hand and wrist
- Avoid sleeping with hands in awkward or flexed positions
- Don’t bend your wrists to extreme angles for activities like typing
- Keep your hands warm