Carpal Tunnel is a very serious condition characterized by numbness, tingling, weakness or itching in the palm side of the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. It is caused by an abnormal compression of the median nerve in the wrist, which controls these fingers.
Carpal Tunnel is often a sign of something else. Hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can all cause Carpal Tunnel, and should be dealt with before trying to fix the wrist. Similarly, fluid retention caused by pregnancy or menopause can cause carpal tunnel.
Apart from these conditions, however, carpal tunnel is often caused by a repetitive, destructive movement of the wrist or a wrist fracture. This movement can be anything, or it can be multiple things. Excessive typing, writing, or assembly line work, for example, are all common causes of Carpal Tunnel.
Though at first Carpal Tunnel is very mild - patients often only notice it when waking up - if left untreated it can cause permanent damage, so it is important to get it checked out as soon as possible. Treatments vary based on severity: often simply wearing a wrist splint at night or icing and resting the wrist at intervals will provide relief.
Non Prescription NSAIDs, such as tylenol or ibuprofen, can help to soothe the pain, but it must be stressed that these drugs will only provide temporary relief. Surgery is an option, but it is typically reserved for very severe cases.
As a leader in Dallas Physical Medicine, upon your initial screening we will first ensure that you have Carpal Tunnel, and then check for underlying causes. We have found that a fair number of patients that came in for "Carpal Tunnel" type symptoms actually have a problem in the Cervical spine (neck) affecting the Median nerve running down into the hand. We will be sure to find the cause of the pain during our evaluation process.
Typically, a chiropractor will practice joint manipulation and mobilization of the hand and wrist to help patients with carpal tunnel. This relieves the pressure on the median nerve, allowing it to communicate properly with the fingers. Not only will this soothe the burning sensation, but it should also gradually heal the wrist.
If you know you have Carpal Tunnel, or if you suspect that you may, we recommend that you see one of our Dallas Carpal Tunnel Professionals as soon as possible. Carpal Tunnel is easily treatable in its early stages, but it becomes more difficult with every day treatment is put off.