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If you work with your hands, play an instrument or use fine tools in your chosen hobbies, then the last thing you want to cope with is constant discomfort and functional impairment in these all-important extremities. Unfortunately, it's exactly these populations who are at elevated risk for an occupational injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome. But if you're already suffering from this debilitating condition of the wrists, hands and fingers, you'll be delighted to know that our chiropractic team here at Pain Care Associates in Little Rock and Benton can help you recover from it without turning to major surgery.
The carpal tunnel is a kind of canal located formed by the space between the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament in the wrist. This canal contains the flexor tendons that manipulate the digits of the hand. It also contains the median nerve, the nerve responsible for relaying sensory information to the thumb and first three fingers, along with motor instructions to the thumb. If the median nerve becomes pinched, either through local inflammation or some other cause, you may experience sensations of pain, tingling, numbness, swelling and weakness in the affected hand. The narrower the carpal tunnel is to begin with, the higher the odds of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, which may be one reason it affects women more frequently than men.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with constant repetitive stress on the wrist and hand. This makes office workers, musicians, mechanics and various types of manual technical workers especially prone to it. Sadly, these are also the individuals whose livelihoods depend on precise, pain-free hand and finger function.
Some people with carpal tunnel syndrome immediately opt for surgery to alter the transverse carpal ligament. While this surgery is often successful, it's a serious, invasive procedure that can ultimately fail. Little Rock and Benton sufferers should first try conservative care from any chiropractor on our team -- Dr. Stewart, Dr. Vang or Dr. Barger. Your chiropractor will first examine not only the wrist but also your spinal alignment to check for other possible causes of your symptoms. (Thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve impingement that occurs near the collarbone, is one such possibility; but while the sensations it causes are similar, it tends to afflict the fourth and fifth fingers.) Spinal adjustments can provide a surprising degree of relief for carpal tunnel symptoms.
Physiotherapy can prove highly useful for treating and rehabilitating inflamed soft tissues surrounding the median nerve. Myofascial release can help loosen tight tissues, while Activities of Daily Living exercises can help you learn more ergonomic, less stress-inducing techniques for using your hands and wrists. If your muscles have been weakened by your condition, we can prescribe strengthening exercises.
Call Pain Care Associates at 501-223-3314 for non-surgical solutions to your carpal tunnel syndrome. Our Little Rock and Benton chiropractic team will be happy to give you a hand!