Carpal tunnel syndrome is when one of the main nerves called the median nerve is compressed. This leads to pins and needles, numbness and pain in the area of hand supplied by that nerve: the thumb, index and middle fingers plus sometimes the palm of the hand.
At the wrist the median nerve goes through a tunnel which has bones on three sides and a ligament over the top. This means there is not a lot of room for the tissues to swell.
Non Surgical Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This article was reported on US News Health. They report The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons are advising the following non surgical options:
1. Wearing a splint or brace while sleeping or while doing activities that worsen symptoms.
2. Taking anti-inflammatory medications to manage the pain.
3. Avoid doing the activities that worsen the symptoms.
4. Getting steroid injections to provide temporary symptom relief.
So let’s go through each of those and see what really will benefit your carpal tunnel syndrome.
1. Wear a Splint or Brace: they are effectively advising immobilising the wrist for long periods.There are a couple of problems here.
a) The muscles will become weak and atrophied over. You only have to look at someone who fractures a bone and is in a pot for a few weeks to know this is true.
b) When you have carpal tunnel syndrome there is inflammation. A natural response to this is for the body to produce scar tissue. If the joint is immobilised then the scar tissue will form in a lump rather than along the line of the fibres. In this part of the wrist the tendon run inside sheaths to protect them. Excessive or poorly formed scar tissue may ‘stick’ the tendons to their sheath. This may lead to a condition called tenosynovitis where the tendon sheath itself becomes irritated and inflamed. Now you have two extremely painful conditions!
2. Taking anti-inflammatory medications: as carpal tunnel is often a chronic condition it is inadvisable to take this sort of medication. The long term side effects are well documented and include high blood pressure, bleeding in the stomach and gut, kidney disease and a increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Click on the link to read about some natural anti-inflammatory alternatives.
3. Avoid activities that increase your symptoms: that is all good up to a point. But what if these activities are work related? Are you meant to give up work? Also, say your hobby is cross stitching and this aggravates your carpal tunnel syndrome then are you are meant to stop doing the thing you love and how long will you have to give it up for?
4. Steroid injections: as The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons say themselves this is for temporary relief. Do you know they will only give an absolute maximum of 3 due to the side effects? Personally I think that says it all for the steroids!
So What Can You Do For Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The biggest problem with these treatments is that they are not curing the problem- they are only looking to relieve the symptoms. Chiropractic care aims to a cure your carpal tunnel syndrome rather than chasing your symptoms.
Click here to read about the research showing how effective chiropractic care is for carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you taking pain pills or considering having surgery on your carpal tunnel pain than a non surgical approach has to be a better course of action. Surgery is expensive, takes time to recover and many doctors agree it should only be used as a last resort.
Nothing’s worse than feeling great mentally, but physically feeling held back from life because your hand hurts – and the pain just won’t go away!
Don’t neglect your hands and wrists any longer, disabling you for life. Call Celia or Carole today on 07 542 0835.