Carpal Tunnel Treatment: A Spokane Valley WA Chiropractor’s Perspective
One of the common conditions people in Spokane Valley WA suffer from is numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the hands and fingers, which can be commonly diagnosed as carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel is a condition caused by pressure or damage to the median nerve, which is a nerve that branches off a group of nerves stemming from the base of the neck and travels down the arm through the carpal tunnel in the wrist into the hand. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring fingers. It also controls some deep muscles in the forearm and at the base of the thumb. The two main locations the median nerve can get damaged or compressed are in the carpal tunnel itself, which is a small tunnel or groove the nerve passes through in the wrist or since the median nerve originates from nerves in the neck commonly problems in the neck can result in carpal tunnel-like symptoms.
Poor posture or sleep positioning can be major factors leading to carpal tunnel. Some other frequent causes can be exercises or activities that have the wrist in extension such as bench press, push-ups, computer use or other fluid retention that can occur with pregnancy or other health conditions such as diabetes. Keep reading how our Spokane Valley WA Chiropractor can help you!
How We Treat Carpal Tunnel In Spokane Valley WA
Comprehensive Consultation, Exam, and X-Rays
Before we can begin treating your carpal tunnel, we must first identify the root cause of it and if it is coming from the wrist, neck or both, which is why every new patient encounter at our Spokane Valley WA chiropractic office involves a comprehensive history to find out what has happened in the past and present along with lifestyle factors that may be causing the carpal tunnel.
The next step would be a thorough exam consisting of postural and range of motion analysis, orthopedic and neurological testing, bilateral weight testing, spinal motion palpation, and if necessary spinal x-rays to determine the exact location, extent of the damage, and formulate a custom careplan to help correct the cause and avoid any unnecessary surgery.
Corrective Chiropractic Care In Spokane Valley WA For Carpal Tunnel Relief
Here at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we specialize in spinal corrective care. Just a small percentage of chiropractors have this approach and training. Commonly carpal tunnel is due to misalignments in the bones of the wrist that form the carpal tunnel or vertebrae in the lower neck where the nerves come from that form the median nerve. When people have “subluxations” or misalignments in the bones that can cause irritation or compression of the nerves resulting in the symptoms people experience with carpal tunnel.
Here at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA our goal is to not only to help people get relief from their carpal tunnel symptoms, but also to correct their spine and posture so the issues don’t continue to come back through spinal and extremity adjustments along with a comprehensive spinal exercise program performed in office as well as at home.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Program For Carpal Tunnel Results
At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA, we custom make a home exercise program and provide spinal homecare equipment that helps our patients get better and long lasting results. Following a thorough exam/xray and report of findings our doctor at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA will create a home exercise plan that is specific to your posture and x-ray findings. With this program comes some special spinal rehab equipment to help our patients in Spokane Valley WA get better results, faster. We also have access to a database of 1000’s of stretches/exercises with videos that can be prescribed to our patients to help them with core stability or address any other muscle weakness or tightness concerns. These exercises are designed to help people get relief faster, hold adjustments longer, preventing further degeneration, and restoring the natural curvature in the neck.
Spinal Decompression Spokane Valley WA
Often the reason people experience carpal tunnel is because they have degenerating or bulged spinal discs. The spinal discs are the gel-like cushion between the vertebrae that enable the spine to bend and twist. However, due to loss of normal spinal curvature or improper movement of the spine the spinal discs can protrude or begin to breakdown which causes compression on the spinal cord and or nerves in the neck often resulting in neck or shoulder pain, numbness/tingling, or muscle weakness in the arm or hands.
Spinal surgery to treat disc problems can be very expensive and risky in the sense of potential complications as well as outcomes. A much safer and effective alternative is spinal decompression therapy, which works by gently stretching the spine relieving the pressure off the spinal discs and nerves. At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we use the Back On Trac spinal decompression chair which assists in hydrating the discs, restoring normal spinal motion and curvature as well as adding in heat and vibration to relax any tight muscles for optimal results. The Back On Trac decompression chair has been a great addition to our Spokane Valley WA clinic helping our patients relieve carpal tunnel symptoms quickly in conjunction with regular spinal adjustments.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel
A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones of the spine or extremities that prevent normal motion and can irritate or damage the nerves often causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning. At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA, we locate subluxations of the spine or extremities and through chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercises help people correct their subluxations over time.
Today the average American spends between 2-4 hours per day looking down at their phone or some other handheld electronic device. The further you look down and your head goes forward with physics it increases the weight and load placed on the spine by up to 60lbs. This increased stress and load to the spine over time results in chronic poor posture and tension in the neck or shoulders, loss proper neck curvature, neck pain, headaches, or spinal disc problems. Here at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we specialize in spinal corrective care and help our patients reverse the detrimental effects of tech neck by correcting postural issues and restoring the proper curvature back to the neck.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the joint space begins to narrow or break down. This is commonly seen in the neck as well as other areas of the spine or joints such as the wrist especially if any of the bones of the wrist have been broken or injured in the past. This condition usually happens over time from lack of motion and or poor posture. Our joints need to move to stay healthy, if they are not moved regularly due to sedentary lifestyle or subluxations then they break down. After a long enough period of time bone spurs can begin to form and the nerves or spinal cord can be affected
Who is most at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome?
1) Desk Workers
Due to the long, repetitive days in front of a computer typing causes tension on the carpal tunnel with the wrist typically in extension also flattening the tunnel for the median nerve to travel through.
2) Factory/Assembly Workers
Due to the long, repetitive days looking down assembling items with their hands can result in damage in the neck along with the wrist depending on their duties.
Due to the fluid retention and swelling in the legs or arms diabetics experience fluid can get trapped under the carpal tunnel causing pressure on the median nerve. Diabetic neuropathy can also cause carpal tunnel-like symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most likely yes. We have helped many patients over the years get relief from their carpal tunnel symptoms and avoid surgery or injections. The first step would be to get an evaluation and any necessary imaging done to determine the source and develop a plan to treat it.
Generally activities that have a person looking down, raising their arms over their head, or with their wrists in extension tend to make carpal tunnel symptoms worse depending on where the nerve damage or compression is coming from. Seeing a knowledgeable professional can help determine where the problem is coming from.
This problem tends to be from your sleep positioning, the type of bed or pillow you use, along with the condition of your spine. Sleeping on the stomach with arms up under the pillow typically is the position that triggers it the most from what we see with our patients.
There are many things that can be done to prevent carpal tunnel surgery which has a high failure rate with symptoms coming back frequently within 1-6 years. Chiropractic care is a must, along with exercises to help the wrist and neck, kinesiotaping, along with eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Usually these problems tend to progress and worsen with time meaning the pain, numbness, tingling gets more intense or more frequent. People often start to notice more weakness or atrophy in the muscles in the forearm or hand. The longer it goes on the more difficult it can be to treat so it is always best to see a health professional who can help properly diagnose and treat the carpal tunnel before it gets too bad.
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