Carpal Tunnel is an abnormal condition of the hand and wrist that is caused by entrapment (naipit in Filipino) of the nerve as it passes between the carpal bones that form the wrist.
Symptoms include wrist pain, numbness, tingling or burning of the median nerve in the hand and forearm pain, in the thumb and index finger in particular. There is also a loss of grip strength and loss of sleep due to discomfort.
The most frequent cause of Carpal Tunnel is repetitive use of the hand and wrist; activities such as typing, keypunching, playing piano, drums or guitar, the use of a knife or hammer. The industries most affected involve computer operators, food packing, construction workers, cashiers and assembly line workers.
What can be done for Carpal Tunnel?
a) Chiropractic is proven to be one of the most effective methods of treatment. The treatments are non-drug and are specific to the cause of the pain. Frequently this includes gentle manipulation of both the wrist and the neck where the median nerve originates.
b) Medication is the first line of care provided by the medical profession to relieve the symptoms of pain and to help reduce the inflammation of the nerve.
c) Surgery is a last resort option that may only help for a limited period of time. Here the wrist is cut open and the transverse ligament cut to decompress the tension on the nerve.
d) Self-help regarding the necessary life-style changes are ALWAYS required to see any lasting results, regardless of the other care received.
Preventing Carpal Tunnel
People who have injured their neck are particularly at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome when they are subjected to repetitive motion activities. It is important that you see a chiropractor to correct any existing neck problems, in particular if your work is stressful to your wrists.
At work you must pay attention to the effects of cumulative stress on the wrists; especially if you work in the previously mentioned industries. For example: key- stroking activities require that you use a soft pad to cushion and elevate your wrist while on the computer.