Carpal tunnel syndrome

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a condition in which the median nerve in the wrist is compressed. The pressure on the nerve can cause painful and debilitating problems if left untreated. The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is overuse and misuse of the wrist joint. You're more likely to develop carpal tunnel if you spend most of your time typing, performing repetitive motions on an assembly line, or working with tools that vibrate. Symptoms of carpal tunnel include weakness or tingling in the hands, especially in the thumb, palm, and index finger, and joint pain. Once the condition progresses you may begin to lose strength in your hands, and have difficulty making a fist or moving your fingers. A chiropractor can help diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome, but it's important to catch the condition in the early stages for the best results. Treatment may include a brace to immobilize the wrists and hold them in proper position. Chiropractic adjustments may also relieve the pressure on the median nerve and the muscles in your hand. Heat and ice therapy can help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Lifestyle changes may also help, such as taking frequent breaks from repetitive motions, stretching and exercising the wrists and fingers, wearing wrist pads and supports, and making adjustments to your work duties. Carpal tunnel can be successfully treated when caught early, so it's important to report any weakness or tingling to your chiropractor immediately.

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