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The median nerve and tendons run from the forearm and to the hand through a space in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. Specifically, it is the median nerve that controls movement in your first four fingers. When there is compression of the median nerve, the end result is carpal tunnel syndrome. This pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, such as repetitive hand movements, diabetes and pregnancy. Anything that makes the carpal tunnel smaller can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. It can cause pain and weakness or tingling in the fingers, hands or between the hand and elbow. Often, symptom occur in the first four fingers. Problems with these four fingers and not the pinky are a warning sign of carpal tunnel syndrome. That’s because it’s a different nerve that gives feeling to the pinky finger.
The symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome typically develop slowly. Without proper treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can progress. The thumb muscles can atrophy, and there may be a loss of coordination in the fingers and hand. It can cause permanent damage to the median nerve and cause problems with using the hand. As a matter of fact, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of work absence. Women between 40 and 60 years of age are at high risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Research suggests that women going through menopause, taking birth control pills and taking estrogen have the highest risk. Broken wrist bones and bone spurs can also increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. The new bone growth in healing takes up space in the carpal tunnel and puts pressure on the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is complex because it can have multiple causes and entrapments. Chiropractor Dr. George Keogh does a thorough exam to determine the root cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. He may perform the pressure-provocative test or the carpal compression test for an accurate diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Lab tests may be ordered to reveal underlying causes, such as diabetes or fractures. He then uses manipulation techniques to free up some of the connective tissues and nerve impingement. Chiropractic treatment often entails points at the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck. He also makes recommendations for ergonomic adjustments in the workplace.
Cold laser therapy may be integrated into the treatment plan to help reduce inflammation and pain. This type of therapy also helps enhance blood flow and helps the body heal faster. Massage therapy is another adjunct service offered at Proctor Chiropractic for carpal tunnel syndrome. It helps release tension in the wrist, hand and arms along with improving mobility and function.
If you’re experiencing pain or numbness in your hand or fingers, call us at Proctor Chiropractic to schedule an appointment at 253-756-7500. We can effectively treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.