Manual therapy is very beneficial for addressing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and is a cornerstone of the carpal tunnel treatment we offer at Blakehurst Chiropractic. Around 3% of the adult population suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, in varying degrees.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop when the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of your hand is compressed. It can feel tingly (pins and needles sensation), burning, painful or numb. It can also induce swelling that can affect your ability to use your hand and wrist.
The Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Include
- Pain and discomfort (usually at night)
- Shooting pain in the wrist
- Pain that passes from the shoulder into the arm
- Hand weakness
There are lots of tendons running through your carpal tunnel and any inflammation or swelling that takes place can compress the median nerve, resulting in the symptoms described above. Interestingly, your little finger and half of your ring finger are not affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Causes It?
It may not always have a clear or direct cause, but carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with
- Overuse of the wrist or hands
- Anything that causes inflammation of the tendons (including over-use, arthritis and pregnancy)
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated using a number of different treatment modalities.
Chiropractic Adjustments And Manual Therapy
Performing wrist adjustments and manipulations may help to relieve the pressure on your median nerve. Manual therapy is a less invasive treatment option than surgery, and should be your first course of treatment.
Splinting and stretching exercises may also benefit sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Exercises like nerve gliding or tendon gliding exercises may also be added to your treatment regime.
At Blakehurst Chiropractic, we can assist our patients with carpal tunnel exercises to relieve stiffness and discomfort.
Physical Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has also been shown to be beneficial in managing the pain and inflammation in the wrist to improve function, however the massage therapy should avoid squeezing or any technique that might add to the pressure exerted on your median nerve.
The Importance Of Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If the symptoms are a constant feature of your day-today life, you run the risk of your hand muscles weakening. It can affect the coordination between your thumb and fingers. This will make holding onto objects and performing daily tasks that much more difficult.
Ergonomic And Lifestyle Advice
Because carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently associated with repetitive motion and overuse, it helps to identify which activities or behaviours are triggering it. You can either change the way you do the movements, do them less often, or increase the amount of time you take to rest between them.
Working closely with a chiropractor will help you to make constructive and helpful changes to these habits, to prevent further injury and damage in the future.
Self-Help At Home
There are some mini carpal tunnel treatment exercises you can attempt if a flare-up happens during a time when you can’t get immediate help:
- Shaking your wrist may relieve numbness or pins and needles
- Resting your hands regularly can relieve symptoms
- Ice packs and compresses can help with swelling and inflammation
- Warm compresses may help with pain management
At Blakehurst Chiropractic we believe in an integrated approach to carpal tunnel treatment. Through exercises, lifestyle changes and manual therapy, our chiropractors and sports therapists can help you restore function to your hands and manage symptoms on a daily basis.
To find out more about the treatment of carpal tunnel, please get in touch with us: (02) 9546 6033.