Carpal Tunnel and Chiropractic Care: How a Chiropractor Can Help You Find Relief
All of the sewing, texting, and typing you’ve done is catching up to you.
The tingling, numbness, and inability to do just about any task that involves your hands and wrist without pain due to carpal tunnel is frustrating, and it’s slowing you down.
You’re tired of dealing with the symptoms, and although surgery is an option, you’re looking for a more natural way to find relief.
Exercises. Splints. Rest.
You’ve tried these options, but you need more.
Your chiropractor is known for helping with all sorts of ailments, from neck, back, and hip pain to jaw issues and even migraines, but can a chiropractor help with carpal tunnel?
Keep reading to learn more about when you should see a chiropractor when dealing with carpal tunnel and how they can help.
Table of Contents
- Can a Chiropractor Help With Carpal Tunnel?
- When to Visit a Chiropractor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- 3 Ways a Chiropractor Can Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- How Long Does It Take to Find Relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Chiropractic Treatment?
- The Road to Recovery From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Just Around the Corner at Cascade Spine & Injury
Can a Chiropractor Help With Carpal Tunnel?
If you’ve been dealing with carpal tunnel for any amount of time, you’ve likely already asked around about treatment options for carpal tunnel, and it’s also likely that you’ve heard the common myth that surgery is your only option.
The truth is, there are several safe and effective options available to help relieve your symptoms, including seeing your chiropractor.
Chiropractors are an excellent resource for those looking for help diagnosing and treating symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Can a Chiropractor Fix Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Chiropractic care for carpal tunnel involves addressing any underlying causes of the syndrome without using invasive procedures — our number one priority is to help our patients find relief.
When to Visit a Chiropractor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Prevention is key when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome — which is why it is vital to visit your chiropractor as soon as you think you might be experiencing symptoms.
As soon as you begin to experience …
- Feelings of swelling or fullness of your fingers
- The muscles at the base of your thumb becoming smaller
- Pain beginning in your hand and radiating through your arm
- Numbness, tingling and pain in your hand that worsens at night
- Trouble picking up or holding objects
… contact your chiropractor to schedule an appointment regarding your symptoms.
Even if you’ve previously been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, a chiropractor can help by managing symptoms to keep them from getting worse.
3 Ways a Chiropractor Can Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
#1: Diagnostic Testing
Before a chiropractor can help with carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll need a proper diagnosis.
If you’re dealing with …
- Shock-like sensations
… and other symptoms like those associated with carpal tunnel, but you’ve never been diagnosed, Dr. McClaren at Cascade Spine & Injury Center can help.
Our diagnostic testing involves two components:
- A nerve conduction study. During this study, a small shock is sent through the median nerve to see if the electrical impulses slow down in the carpal tunnel.
To perform this study, your chiropractor will place two electrodes on your skin — one on the palm and one near your elbow.
- Your chiropractor may also conduct a needle electromyography (EMG). During this type of EMG, a very fine needle is placed into various points on different muscles and “listens” to see how well they are performing. Your chiropractor will sample different areas throughout your body, including your neck, back, and carpal tunnel.
If there is any loss of nerve supply to that area, your chiropractor will be able to recognize the difference and whether the nerve supply is hindered.
#2: In-Office Treatments
Once a proper diagnosis has been made, your chiropractor can begin treating your carpal tunnel syndrome.
The main goals of treatment may include:
- Improving range of motion of your wrist bones
- Stretching the carpal tunnel
- Decreasing inflammation in the tendons that pass through the carpal tunnel
- Providing education on ways to stretch, perform daily activities, and decrease symptoms
In-office treatment often starts by your chiropractor taking a deeper look at the cause of your carpal tunnel.
The chain of nerves that may be causing your symptoms often go into your thoracic outlet. These nerves can be compressed in your neck, shoulder, or spinal column, causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Although there are many causes of carpal tunnel, the underlying cause involves your median nerve. This is the nerve that runs the length of your arm — from your hand to your spinal column.
This nerve passes through your carpal tunnel. When the carpal tunnel swells, it can cause issues in your wrist, hand, and fingers due to the swelling interfering with your median nerve sending messages to the brain.
Oftentimes, manual adjustments are made directly to your wrist, or in the surrounding areas, like your hands or elbows. Specifically in patients who are dealing with carpal tunnel due to wrist injuries.
In other instances, chiropractors will perform spinal adjustments to the upper spine using controlled amounts of pressure. This pressure is gently applied to the vertebrae to realign them into their original positions.
But because the median nerve runs all the way to your spine, restoring alignment through spinal adjustments may alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel.
This form of spinal manipulation is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as:
- Soft tissue massage
- Therapeutic massage
Ultrasound treatment for carpal tunnel involves using high energy sound or low energy sound with a device that penetrates the body’s tissues at a very deep level.
These sound waves may provide relief by reducing inflammation, relaxing muscles surrounding the median nerve, and alleviating pain.
Ultrasound treatment may be used alongside other chiropractic treatments or as a stand-alone treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
If symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are due to restricted joints, your chiropractor will perform what’s known as soft tissue massage, or manual massage, to release any restrictions.
Over time, your chiropractor may recommend these manual massage techniques be done at home, depending on the location of the restricted joint.
One of our main priorities when assisting patients is to provide education and assistance in avoiding carpal tunnel or preventing symptoms from becoming worse.
Preventative measures may involve learning:
- Proper posture
- Which repetitive motions may be causing symptoms and how to do activities that won’t cause more damage
- How to do beneficial stretches and how often to do them
- How to properly wear a splint to reduce movement and pressure at night
#3: At-Home Treatments
Aside from visiting your chiropractor regularly, your chiropractor may recommend specific at-home treatments, including:
- Splinting at night
- At-home massage techniques
- Learning to relax your grip whenever possible
- Elevating your hands and wrists whenever possible
How Long Does It Take to Find Relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Chiropractic Treatment?
Adjustments performed by your chiropractor help minimize median nerve pressure in the most natural way. Because this is done gradually, patients generally see improvements after each visit to our clinic.
How Long Should You Continue Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Chiropractic Treatment?
The amount of time patients should seek carpal tunnel syndrome chiropractic treatment varies. The number of visits you will need to recover from your injury will depend on the severity of your symptoms.
At your first appointment, your chiropractor will assess your unique situation and determine the best course of treatment for your needs.
When chiropractic care is done in conjunction with proper lifestyle changes, most patients find that symptoms generally improve within four to six weeks.
The Road to Recovery From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Just Around the Corner at Cascade Spine & Injury
If you are dealing with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you don’t have to suffer silently — the team at Cascade Spine and Injury is here to help you overcome your symptoms and get back to living comfortably.
We are a multidisciplinary clinic specializing in …
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Therapeutic rehabilitation
… to overcome ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Don’t wait another minute to find relief. Contact Cascade Spine and Injury today to book your first appointment.