Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the leading cause of numbness to the middle three fingers and thumb and affects millions of Americans each year. There are MANY potential causes of CTS, and these causes can be unclear or multi-factorial. We have discussed the importance of night splints and what chiropractic can do for CTS in the recent past. This month, let’s look at what YOU can do for CTS.
“Self-help” concepts are VERY important as they empower YOU to gain control of your condition’s signs and symptoms, thus placing less reliance on those of us who manage (in this case) CTS. There is a time for “PRICE” or, Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate, such as when most activities make symptoms worse. This is the time for splinting, reducing activities of daily living (which sometimes includes work restrictions), and the use of ice cupping or massage. Patients should initiate movement or exercise-based approaches as soon as such activities can be tolerated. Here are four different exercises you can do:
Do these on each side two to three times each (even the “good” side) EVERY HOUR (or as often as possible). Think about what you do on a daily basis and if you work in a repetitive manner (on the job or a hobby at home), try to do these exercises DURING THE REPETITIVE ACTIVITY to help keep your symptoms from getting out of control. If you can alter the position or speed of a work or avocational activity, do so for long-term prevention purposes!
If you cannot gain control of your CTS condition, you may need additional treatment options of which chiropractic offers a safe, non-surgical approach.