Numbness, pain or tingling in the hand, especially at night can be characteristic of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Sometimes a person with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS) will also notice hand or finger weakness, and may begin dropping things. A burning or tingling sensation in the thumb, index and middle finger often awakens the patient at night or in the early morning.
People who work with their hands, by pounding or putting their wrists into extension are more susceptible to developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpentry and cooking and similar activities put pressure through the wrists. Any of these motions can affect the shape of the tunnel and irritate the nerve that passes through the tunnel. One or both hands may be affected.
The carpal tunnel, located at the wrist, is an arch made up of the carpal or wrist bones. Crossing the bottom of this arch is a thick band which is a ligament. This ligament and the carpal bones form a tunnel. Tendons to the finger joints, and the Median Nerve pass through this tunnel. This nerve controls sensation and movement of the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The Median Nerve can become irritated or compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel. This compression can alter the normal function of the Median Nerve.
If the space within the tunnel is decreased for any reason, the nerve can become compressed. After trauma, a fractured wrist bone can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Tumors or very severe rheumatoid arthritis can change he space within the tunnel. Fluid retention during pregnancy has been known to cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The most common cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, though, is an overuse or misuse of the wrists.
Wrist motion should be evaluated to determine the relationship of the carpal tunnel to the Median Nerve. Chiropractic evaluation and treatment can often improve motion of the carpal bones and relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In conjunction with chiropractic adjustments, a wrist splint worn at night, and ice therapy may be beneficial. Avoiding the aggravating wrist motion will be important for the injury to heal. In some cases surgery may be necessary to open up the carpal tunnel. Before this surgery is attempted, conservative treatment through chiropractic adjustments should be initiated. Even if a surgery has been unsuccessful, chiropractic may still be able to help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not treated, permanent loss of strength in the hand may occur. Hand numbness, tingling or pain may be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and should be examined and treated. Conservative chiropractic treatment is a very safe, effective and gentle place to start.