Carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS is one of the most expensive kinds of injuries acquired from work. It is a condition that can affect the person for a lifetime. In fact it is calculated that each patient can lose $30,000 each year just to pay for their medical bills and absences.
Carpal tunnel syndrome commonly occurs in adults, women are more prone to develop this condition that men. The main hand is typically affected the most and the pain is usually extreme. The people that are prone to this condition are the ones that are into assembly-line jobs like meatpacking, cleaning, finishing, sewing, manufacturing and related industries. In contrary to the recent beliefs that people who are into computer jobs for over 7 hours a day are prone to develop this condition, recent studies shows that these people are not risky to develop CTS.
What Is CTS?
CTS is a disorder occur in the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed through the carpal tunnel – a thin and narrow into the wrists, which made up from soft tissues like blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and nerves. As the nerve gets compressed, it can cause severe pain, numbness and weakness into the hand and wrist that may spread up to the forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also the most typical “entrapment neuropathies” or trauma and compression of the body’s nerve through the hand or feet.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of CTS are numbness, itching, tingling, burning sensation through the hand and thumb, middle and index fingers. Most people with CTS usually say that their hand or fingers feel swollen, useless although there’s no swelling. Additionally, the person with CTS find it hard to hold or may feel a tingling sensation. In addition, most people may also develop a wasting muscle through the base of the thumb and some may even find it hard to differentiate hot or cold.
Why Does CTS Develop?
In some cases there are also some people who have smaller carpal tunnels than some individual, as a result, median nerve compression is more possible. There are also some occasion, wherein CTS can develop due to wrist injury that may cause the other factors like menopause and retention of fluid at pregnancy for women, frequent use of vibrating tools, poor ergonomics at work, inflammatory arthritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and over function of pituitary gland
How Is It Diagnosed?
Carpal tunnel syndrome must be diagnosed and treated immediately when symptoms starts to appear. The chiropractor may conduct a series physical examination on the neck, shoulders, arms and arms then they can determine if the symptoms are associated with the daily activities other primary condition.
In addition, chiropractor may also try other specific tests to rule out the condition if carpal tunnel syndrome is really the origin of the condition like carpal compression test and pressure-provocative test.
In addition x-rays and laboratory tests can reveal fractures, arthritis, diabetes and other typical causes of pain to the hand and wrist pain. In fact, electridiagnostic test like nerve conduction velocity testing is also used to verify the condition.
What Is the CTS Treatment?
Included in the initial therapy are:
Applying cool packs that can lessen the swelling from soreness
Make sure to put the writs into a immobilize position to avoid additional damage from bending or twisting.
Avoid the activities that can worsen the symptoms of CTS
By relaxing the involved hand or wrist
There are also some medications that can control the pain and inflammation. Studies show that vitamin B6 supplements can alleviate the symptoms of CTS.
Chiropractic joint mobilization and manipulation of the hand and wrist, stretching and support exercise, manipulation of soft tissue and yoga are effective and helpful way to treat CTS. In fact there is one research the show that acupuncture therapy is also an effective method to treat and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Moreover, for those patient, who doesn’t respond to chiropractic therapy positively, a surgery may be needed to treat the condition. Unlike other disease, after treating CTS, most case recover positively with low recurrence. Correct movement and posture can be instructed by the chiropractors to avoid recurrences.
How Can CTS Be Prevented?
The following are some of the recommendations of American Chiropractic Association:
Before starting the job or activity, light exercises and stretching is ideal.
Take rest breaks.
By wearing splints can avoid the wrist to be injured.
By using fingerless gloves can maintain the flexibility and warmness of the hands.
Maintain good posture and wrist movement.