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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and arm condition that causes numbness and pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is very common, according to American Family Physician, affecting 3 to 6 percent of the population in the United States.
While healthcare professionals cannot always determine the cause for CTS, research shows certain conditions and activities are associated with the syndrome. Certain diseases can increase the risk for CTS, for example, including over-activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and inflammatory arthritis. Mechanical problems in the wrist joint can cause the syndrome, as can poor work ergonomics and repeated use of vibrating hand tools. Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause is also associated with CTS.
Symptoms of the syndrome can develop when something presses on or squeezes a nerve at your wrist. This nerve, known as the median nerve, runs from your forearm into the palm of your hand. The median nerve controls sensation on that side of your thumb and your first three fingers (not your little finger.)
On its way from your arm to your hand, the median nerve runs through a narrow passageway known as the carpal tunnel. Irritation can cause nearby tendons to thicken and press against the median nerve to cause symptoms. Swelling inside the carpal tunnel can also cause pain, numbness, weakness and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
A chiropractor provides a variety of safe and effective treatments for CTS, including chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of your wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, and soft-tissue mobilization techniques. These treatments help reduce tendon irritation and tissue swelling that press against the median nerve to cause the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you have questions regarding your specific plan, please call our office.
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