Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve which runs from the forearm into the hand and connects to nerve roots in the brachial plexus (which is a network of nerves formed by the anterior rami of the lower four cervical nerves and first thoracic nerve (C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1) becomes compressed along its length. This can cause symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive motions of the hand and wrist, injury or trauma to the wrist, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism.
Here are 10 tips for finding relief from carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Take frequent breaks: One of the most effective ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome is to take regular breaks from activities that strain your wrists. This will give your wrists time to rest and recover.
- Use ergonomic equipment: Using equipment that is designed to reduce strain on the wrists, such as ergonomic keyboards and mice, can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Find out more about ergonomics in the workplace HERE.
- Exercise your wrists: Strengthening and stretching your wrists and forearms can help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some simple exercises that can help include wrist flexion, wrist extension, and wrist circles.
- Use proper technique: Using proper technique when performing activities that involve repetitive hand and wrist movement can also help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, keep your wrists straight when typing, and avoid resting them on the desk.
- Try wrist splints: Wrist splints can help keep your wrist in a neutral position, which can help reduce pressure on the median nerve.
- Consider holistic treatments: Some people find relief from carpal tunnel syndrome by trying alternative treatments such as acupuncture or chiropractic care.
- Get plenty of rest: Making sure to get enough rest can help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as help manage the symptoms if you are already experiencing them.
- Avoid activities that strain your wrists: If possible, try to avoid activities that put a lot of strain on your wrists, such as lifting heavy weights, video gaming, scrolling on social media, or playing certain sports.
- Manage any underlying conditions: If you have any underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to manage these conditions to help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Consult an orthopedist doctor: In severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the median nerve. This involves cutting the ligament that is pressing on the nerve, which can help alleviate symptoms and improve function in the hand. But remember that surgery should be the last solution on your list.
Chiropractic Care and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chiropractic care focuses on the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, including pinched nerves. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to adjust the spine and other joints in the body in order to relieve pain and improve function.
There have been a number of studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some studies have found that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome, providing relief from symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.
One study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care was effective in reducing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in patients with mild to moderate severity of the condition. Another study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine found that chiropractic care was effective in reducing pain and improving hand function in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Lifestyle Modification To Help Decrease Chronic Inflammation
While addressing the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome it is important to help decrease inflammation in your body not only for pain relief but for faster healing as well.
There are a number of lifestyle modifications that can help decrease chronic inflammation in the body. These include:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce inflammation in the body. It’s important to limit the intake of processed foods and foods high in added sugars, as these can contribute to inflammation.
- Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help reduce inflammation in the body by promoting blood flow and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Getting enough sleep: Sleep is important for overall health and well-being, and it can also help reduce inflammation. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Reducing stress: Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation in the body. Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, to help reduce inflammation.
- Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption: Both tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Limiting or avoiding these substances can help reduce inflammation.
- Managing chronic health conditions: If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to properly manage the condition. This can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Use supplements that may help reduce inflammation. Some examples include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, and are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil, are commonly taken to reduce inflammation.
- Curcumin: This is the active ingredient in turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and is often taken in supplement form to reduce inflammation.
- Boswellia: This is a tree extract that has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including inflammation. Boswellia supplements are commonly taken to reduce inflammation in the joints.
- Ginger: This spice is commonly used to reduce inflammation and is often taken in supplement form.
It’s important to note that supplements should not be used as a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle. They should be used in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle to support overall health and well-being.
Remember, when it comes to health, it is paramount to address the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. This is because addressing the underlying cause of a problem can help prevent the problem from recurring or worsening over time. So if you are suffering from chronic neck pain, numbness and tingling down your arm and hand, don’t ignore your body’s symptoms and consult a chiropractor to see if they can help you find relief from carpal tunnel syndrome.