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Carpal tunnel syndrome radiates from the median nerve in your wrist. This is the nerve that runs the length of the arm. It runs through a small passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel and then ends in the hand. This nerve is what allows you to control the movement and the feeling in your thumb, index finger, and your middle finger. The only finger not controlled by this nerve is your pinky finger. Here at The Wellness Center PDX in Portland, OR, our experienced team of chiropractors is ready to treat your carpel tunnel syndrome pain.
In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome come on gradually. In the early stages, you might notice that your fingers are falling asleep more often. They may also start feeling numb at night. The numbness often occurs the most when your hand and wrist are relaxed. As the condition progresses, you will wake up in the morning with numb or tingling hands, and it may run all the way up to your shoulder. When the condition has become severe, you will start to lose your grip strength and the numbness and tingling will lessen. Instead, you will feel severe wrist pain and muscle cramps.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the carpal tunnel narrows, often because of swelling. There are a few causes of carpal tunnel syndrome; the most common cause is performing repetitive motions over a long period of time. Most people develop this condition at work due to poor work ergonomics, therefore anyone who works in an office and types all day is at risk. In addition, hairstylists that move their wrists all day while cutting hair and are also commonly at risk. Anyone who has a job requiring repetitive motions is at risk of developing this condition.
There are certain medical conditions that put you at risk of developing carpel tunnel syndrome as well. Hyperthyroidism, obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis can all increase your chances of developing the condition. Finally, pregnancy is also a risk factor due to the elevated stress on your body.
In the early stages, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated by a chiropractor. The chiropractor can use gentle manipulation of your wrist, your elbow, and even your cervical spine to treat the condition. If your condition is too severe, you may be recommended for surgery.
Inside the hand and wrist lies the carpal tunnel and the median nerve. Sometimes compression or a form of trauma to this nerve causes sharp, chronic pain. Sprains, swelling, fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and tumors in the carpal tunnel may also cause this pain. In other instances, a doctor cannot identify why a person experiences the stabbing pain or weakness in the wrist.
The most common symptoms consist of tingling, numbness, burning or itching sensations in the palms or the fingers. These feelings may last all day while feeling worse at night. When a person wakes in the morning, they jerk or move their hands trying to shake out the numbness and pain. Most people don't realize that they have carpal tunnel syndrome until the symptoms worsen.
While any adult can get carpal tunnel syndrome, women experience this condition 3 times more often than men due to some having smaller carpal tunnels in their wrists. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to the metabolic changes to the nerves in their bodies. People who work manufacturing and food packing jobs commonly deal with this condition although carpal tunnel syndrome is not restricted to any specific job or industry.
At The Wellness Center, Dr. Gabriel will perform an examination to determine whether a person has carpal tunnel syndrome. This examination involves the use of electrodiagnostic tests to study the nerve and see how it reacts to transmitted electrical pulses. If a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is made, Dr. Gabriel will provide a range of nonsurgical treatments that include acupuncture and chiropractic care to strengthen the wrists and relieve the pain.