Non-invasive treatments such as chiropractic and acupuncture are becoming more popular for common ailments. There are many new studies being produced by the medical community that confirm the efficacy of chiropractic and acupuncture to ease pain, discomfort or even cure some conditions.
In our blog, we have discussed many common ailments that benefit from chiropractic and acupuncture treatment. One condition we have not addressed is how various chiropractic treatments can help ease the pain and discomfort of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also known simply as CTS.
What exactly is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a repetitive stress injury that affects women three times more than men. Activities like typing or factory work or any other repetitive motion can cause this condition. The bones of the hand, called carpels, come together at the wrist and are surrounded by a band called the Transverse Carpal ligament. Through the tunnel created by this band and the close proximity of the carpels, runs the median radial nerve. When the nerve is aggravated by swelling in the carpels—the median nerve gets aggravated too.
CTS can be a very painful condition. Symptoms include tingling, pain, weakness, and swelling in the hand and wrist. Additionally, there is often pain that can radiate to the elbow. CTS can weaken the muscles of the thumb and cause permanent damage in a low percentage of cases. Some people feel it in one hand, but often times, both hands are affected.
The most extreme treatment is, of course, surgery. However chiropractic medicine has various ways to help patients start to journey to healing—natural and non-invasive.
Treatments for CTS
The sooner CTS is diagnosed, the better. Usually an examination, perhaps x-rays, will be used to establish a diagnosis. Other treatments include:
Manipulation: Chiropractors will manipulate and adjust the bones in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and upper back. The holistic approach to treating the condition just does not center around the wrist, but the entire arm and upper back.
Acupuncture: More traditional medical practitioners are recommending the integration of acupuncture in a treatment plan. A recent study published in the journal Brain, concluded that acupuncture helped to relieve pain for people. Acupuncture of the wrist for CTS focuses on specific points, called meridians, where thin needles are inserted. These needles help to balance energy in the body, called Qi, and bring blood flow and healing to the hand.
Ultrasound therapy: This has been a helpful therapy for many utilizing high-energy or low-energy sound. Sound waves can relax muscles and ease pain. Ultrasound treatments are quick and painless, often helping to reduce inflammation.
Wrist supports: These supports are inexpensive, easy to use and you can purchase them at any local pharmacy or big box store. They are worn to allow the bones in the wrist to remain properly aligned, thus relieving symptoms of CTS.
Exercises: Your chiropractor may give you a daily routine of stretching exercises for the hand, wrist, forearm and arm. These exercises relieve symptoms by elongating tendons, releasing pressure and allowing you to take a short break throughout the day from repetitive activities.
If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above—contact Dr. Han today to set up an appointment. Dr. Han has additional degrees and years of practice in the ancient art of acupuncture and is a board-certified, licensed chiropractic professional. Join the rest of his patients on the road to better health. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/acupuncture-for-carpal-tunnel-syndrome#1