Last week, one of my long time patients asked me about his wrist. He said it’s been painful since last summer and he was wondering if there was anything I could do. He hadn’t asked before because he didn’t think chiropractic care could help a wrist.
I felt like a total failure as far as patient education goes! Chiropractic care can absolutely help wrist pain and many other conditions throughout the body – not just neck or back pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting the wrist. It’s caused by the median nerve being compressed as it travels through the wrist. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and wrist. This is an extremely painful condition that affects millions of people.
The first thing to understand is that the median nerve begins in the lower neck and travels through the shoulder, armpit, upper arm, elbow, forearm and wrist before it finally reaches the hand. This is a perilous course and the nerve can get pinched in any of these areas and still cause pain only in the wrist and hand.
Many people with a median nerve compressed in the shoulder or upper arm are mistakenly diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A thorough chiropractic examination will determine the exact location of the problem so that treatment will be effective and efficient.
True Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is when the nerve is compressed in the wrist itself. The wrist is a compact region comprised of 8 tiny bones and an array of muscle tendons, blood vessels, and nerves. If any of these bones get jammed out of place, the carpal tunnel will become compromised and the median nerve will get squeezed. Furthermore, if any of the tendons in the wrist become overused and inflamed they will swell up – also putting excess pressure on the median nerve.
This is a physical condition and when properly diagnosed and treated, your body can heal itself without drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care is perfect for treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because of its whole body approach to care. We don’t just focus on the painful area.
Deep tissue massage to the forearm will help reduce inflammation and swelling of the tendons in the wrist. Gentle chiropractic care will correct the alignment of the wrist bones that make up the carpal tunnel. Home exercises will strengthen the hand and arm muscles to prevent a recurrence of pain. Lastly, but equally important, nutrition and supplement information will be discussed to help the nerves heal properly.