Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common injury due to a pinched nerve located on the wrist. It results in numbness and pain in the middle and index fingers, as well as weakness in the thumb. The term carpal tunnel is derived from the carpals, which are the eight bones in your wrist that form a tunnel where the nerve that leads to your hand extends.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Your carpal tunnel contains tendons, which are bundled collagen fibers that connect your bone to your muscles, for controlling finger movements. Common tasks that require highly forceful and repetitive wrist movements could cause inflammation surrounding the tendons, which in turn results in a pinched nerve, and consequently carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pregnancy and certain diseases could trigger CTS, as well. It is sometimes due to genetics, as some individuals who suffer from CTS have square wrists, wide and short hands, and thinner carpal tunnels.
Individuals who work with small hand tools in construction or manufacturing and those who type on keyboards on a daily basis have an increased risk of developing CTS. Studies also indicate that females are two to five times more at risk than males, and that it often occurs in individuals between 30 and 60 years old.
Other contributing risk factors include certain conditions like diabetes, pregnancy, rubella, hypothyroidism, menopause, obesity, and connective tissue diseases, as well as high intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
Could You Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
According to chiropractors in Denver, you could minimize your chances of developing CTS or relieve its symptoms, if you already have it, by making changes in your daily habits, including:
- Flexing and stretching your fingers and arms prior to working and at regular intervals.
- Modifying or changing daily tasks that put significant pressure and stress on your wrists.
- Alternating activities to decrease the need to perform repetitive movements.
- Redesigning your work environment. For instance, if you work on the computer, deck out your workspace with a more ergonomic chair, wrist rest, and adjustable keyword table.
Chiropractic care is among the most common and effective treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome. It involves wrist, upper spine, and elbow manipulation as well as ultrasound therapy. If you have CTS, have it checked as soon as possible because if left unaddressed, it could lead to muscle deterioration, sensation loss, and in extreme cases, permanent loss of function.