Know the signs
If you’ve started noticing that your hand or fingers feel numb, tingly, or like they are “falling asleep” then you may be experiencing compression of one of the many nerves in your arm or wrist. While many people refer to any hand numbness as carpal tunnel syndrome, there are several different conditions that may cause these symptoms.
How do I know if it’s carpal tunnel syndrome?
First, a quick anatomy overview: the nerves that relay sensory information and control the muscles in your arm all begin in the spinal cord, they then exit the spinal column as nerve roots and begin branching into many individual nerves that travel all the way to the tips of your fingers. Muscles and joints that are essential for movement of our arms can create tight spaces along the path of nerves and compress them, making it harder for the nerves to transmit information to and from the spinal cord. The carpal tunnel, a space created by the bones and fascia of the wrist, is one such location in which the median nerve can become compressed. When this happens, it may cause numbness in the thumb, index, and middle finger. This is the reason for the name “carpal tunnel syndrome”.
But, since there are multiple locations where a nerve can be compressed, not every case of hand and finger numbness can truly be called carpal tunnel syndrome! There may be peripheral nerve entrapment from tight muscles in the forearm, irritation of nerves at the elbow, or even compression of the nerve roots all the way up at the neck. Working with a professional who understands and can accurately diagnose the many potential causes of hand numbness is essential for treating the symptoms and getting relief. Our chiropractors are experts in diagnosis and treatment of the extremities and can help you find relief from many nerve entrapment conditions.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome are often told they will need surgery in order to alleviate their symptoms, but several studies have shown that in most cases manual therapy has similar effectiveness to surgery in both the short and long-term1. At Chiropractic Therapeutics we combine adjustments, instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation (Graston), cupping, and therapeutic exercise to decrease symptoms and help prevent future episodes, often completely eliminating the need for surgery.
Experiencing hand numbness or tingling? Schedule with us today!