What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and How Can You Treat It?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common and painful problem that causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist. If you work on a computer or perform other tasks with repetitive motions, you are at a higher risk of having this painful condition.
Carpal Tunnel symptoms can start gradually, with a bit of tingling or numbness in your fingers, as if your fingers “fell asleep.” As the syndrome progresses, the pain will increase, can spread up the arm, and can even cause the sufferer to drop items when they try to carry them. Because of these symptoms, it can become more and more difficult to do simple tasks, such as driving, using a smartphone or typing.
Many people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome do not seek treatment right away thinking the condition may resolve itself on its own. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. There are some home remedies you can try, including:
1. Rest: Since repetitive motion causes painful flare-ups, rest is one of the best home remedies. It’s not always practical, but when you can, give your wrists and hands a break several times per day.
2. Applying Heat: Keeping the area warm can help reduce stiffness and pain. Use warm, moist heat a few times a day, and even consider wearing gloves when you’re working.
3. Wearing Splints: Keeping your wrists straight can help relieve the pressure on your median nerve. Pick up a wrist splint at the grocery store and wear it when you’re working, and during sleep.
4. Use topical creams: Rather than relying on over-the-counter pain relievers, which can cause problems with extended use, topical creams can help relieve pain without side effects. Blue Emu and other topical cream brands containing lidocaine can help with the pain.
5. Stretch: It may seem counter-intuitive, but stretching your hands and wrists can help relieve pain, and prevent stiffness. A few times a day, try a simple stretch like you do when playing the itsy-bitsy spider game. This stretches the palmar fascia, Carpal Tunnel structures and median nerve.
Seek Professional Treatment
The most effective way to treat Carpal Tunnel pain is with professional treatment. Your physician or specialist may decide on a surgical treatment plan, but a far less invasive course of chiropractic care has been proven to treat the issue.
Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert and the team at Live Well Chiropractic Center are experienced in treating Carpal Tunnel pain and the fascia, or the soft connective tissues between your muscles to help you get and stay pain-free. To schedule an appointment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-285-7682. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!