Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Amy Nguyen, DC goes over the signs and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. She gives a thorough explanation of the anatomy of this condition and its various causes. She also compares traditional treatment methods with how Airrosti addresses carpal tunnel syndrome.

WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

The median nerve is an appendage of the nervous system that provides feeling and movement to the hand and fingers. This nerve travels down the arm and through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is made of bones and ligaments that protect the nerve as it travels through the wrist. The nerve then runs through the palm-side of the hand, branching out into the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pinched or irritated within the carpal tunnel.

SYMPTOMS OF CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

man holding his wrists sitting at a desk

This condition can first appear in one or both hands at night. You may wake up and try to “shake out” the hand or wrist. You may feel tingling or numbness in the hand and wrist during the day, accompanied by decreased grip strength. Carpal tunnel syndrome specifically affects the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger.

Other symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Hand weakness and reduced grip strength
  • Numbness, tingling, or a “shock” feeling in the fingers
  • Weakness or swelling sensation in the hand and fingers
  • Itching, tingling, numbness, or pain in the palm of the hand and fingers

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often caused by pressure on the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. This injury is common in people who work in an office, assembly line, or other job that relies on repetitive hand movements.

Below are other common risk factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Repetitive movements like twisting or bending the wrist
  • Pre-existing health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Previous injury to the wrist

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

wrist wrap for carpal tunnel syndrome

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome in a patient often requires a full medical history as well as a physical examination. Depending on the cause, most doctors will recommend the following treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Wrist splint or brace
  • Cortisone shots
  • Restraint from activity
  • Nerve gliding or tendon gliding exercises
  • Endoscopic surgery or open carpal tunnel release surgery

Carpal tunnel release surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. Many patients require surgery on both hands. Surgery is often successful, but full recovery can take months. Some patients may also struggle with infections, nerve damage, stiffness, and pain at the scar.

Patients are encouraged to undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength. Some patients may need to adjust job duties or even change jobs after recovery from surgery. It is also possible for the condition to recur even after successful surgery.

HOW AIRROSTI CAN HELP: DIAGNOSING AND TREATING CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

woman getting her wrists checked by a doctor

Many people struggle to find relief from conservative care and hesitate to get surgery. If you’ve tried other treatments and still can’t find relief, talk to an Airrosti provider today.

Unlike the traditional approach to pain management, Airrosti treatment is designed to resolve your injury as quickly as possible. Our providers combine manual therapy with a customized exercise program to help relieve pain at the source.without surgery or medication.

Based on in-clinic outcomes, 94% of our patients report Airrosti helped eliminate or significantly reduce the need for pain medications. 92% of patients reported we helped prevent the need for further medical services.

Airrosti is a covered benefit by most major health insurance carriers, and a physician referral is typically not required. Call us at (800) 404-6050 to learn more or confirm your coverage. In-clinic and Remote Recovery (virtual care) treatment options are available.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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