Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) results in pain, numbness, tingling, grip strength weakness, interrupted sleep, and can interfere with work, social family, and recreational activities. Symptoms can radiate up the forearm and down into the fingers making tasks that require intricate finger movements very difficult. Many of us know someone who has had carpal tunnel surgery, but what can be done in order to avoid surgery? Let’s find out!
Exercise: The follow five exercises should be performed MANY times a day! The goals are to keep the tendons traveling through the carpal tunnel freely, promote better circulation, remove the pinch on the median nerve, and strengthen muscles. As a general warning, modify or STOP ANY exercise if you feel sharp pain or worsening of symptoms!
Diet and Nutrition: This is very important, as you can reduce the inflammatory markers in your body quite well by doing some very simple things! First, stop eating grains, as they can cause inflammation! Supplement your diet with 4000 IU of fish oil / day and 5000IU of vitamin D3 per day (of course, talk with your doctor first). Avoid sugar as much as possible. This will not only help reduce your swelling, but usually boosts your energy and helps with weigh loss—as obesity is a risk factor for CTS!
Sleep: Since we cannot control the position of our wrist when sleeping, wearing a splint that holds your wrist straight at night is extremely helpful. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you with this!
Driving: It’s common for CTS symptoms to worsen while you hold the steering wheel. Position your hands at an 8 and 4 o’clock position on the wheel to keep the wrist straight. Wearing a wrist splint when driving can help as well.
Chiropractic Care: There are often multiple sites between the neck (where the median nerve starts) and wrist that need to be kept loose to minimize nerve compression. These treatments are very effective for many people!