When the characteristic hand and wrist pain of carpal tunnel threatens to undo your quality of life, you may be as confused as you are frustrated about this puzzling (yet common) problem. Fortunately, you can arm yourself with knowledge about your symptoms while also seeking non-surgical solutions right here at Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject from our West Omaha wrist and hand pain doctor, Dr. Kosak.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a set of symptoms associated with impingement of an important nerve called the median nerve, the median nerve passes through a space within the wrist called the carpal tunnel, conducting nerve messages to and from every digit on the hand except the thumb and parts of the ring finger. When this nerve gets pinched, it can't operate as it should. The resulting "misfires" from the nerve can produce a wide range of debilitating and uncomfortable problems.
Most commonly, some kind of injury to the soft tissues in the carpal tunnel causes those tissues to swell up, narrowing the space in the canal and pressing against the median nerve. This swelling can be a response to an acute wrist injury, but it can also occur as the result of long-term chronic strain in the tendons and other connective tissues.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is notorious for causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms in the hand and fingers -- from sharp, intermittent hand pain to numbness, tingling sensations, and even some loss of motor function. Forearm pain/numbness and wrist pain are other common complaints. The syndrome tends to gets progressively worse without treatment. As you lose motor function, you may become less and less capable of performing everyday manual tasks.
Carpal tunnel syndrome typically strikes people who perform repetitive hand, wrist, and finger motions on a daily basis. Typists, musicians, visual artists, factory workers, drivers, and athletes are all at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. People whose carpal tunnels were already relatively narrow are at even higher risk.
A carpal tunnel doctor may recommend surgery to treat the problem, but this should be a last resort. Carpal tunnel surgery can be effective, but it also causes permanent changes in your wrist structure, takes weeks of recuperation time, and may not even ease all of your symptoms after all that time expense. Conservative treatment methods can often resolve carpal tunnel symptoms without any need for surgery, making them a natural first line of strategy.
Our West Omaha chiropractor first performs the necessary tests to figure out the underlying cause of your symptoms. You may indeed have carpal tunnel syndrome, or you may be experiencing referred symptoms from an impingement close to the spinal column. We may then administer chiropractic adjustments either to the wrist bones or to the cervical spine to relieve the impingement.
If you've experienced muscle wasting and weakness due to a long period of impaired motor function, our West Omaha chiropractor may recommend corrective exercises to help you rehabilitate the hand and regain control of your manual dexterity. Electrical muscle stimulation is another treatment modality we offer that can help strengthen muscles. We may even be able to suggest changes in work habits, sports techniques, or other lifestyle factors that can help you avoid chronic soft tissue strain in the wrist and hand.
Acupuncture has proven its effectiveness in treating chronic pain issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Research indicates that the strategic stimulation of acupuncture points can alter the brain's reactions to wrist and hand pain. It can also enhance circulation in the wrist's soft tissue to reduce swelling, ease inflammation, and speed healing.
As you can see, carpal tunnel syndrome presents its share of challenges -- but at the same time, Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture offers plenty of treatment options to help you beat those challenges. If you're ready to learn more about the natural, non-surgical approach to carpal tunnel syndrome relief, call our West Omaha hand and wrist pain doctor today at (402) 964-0300
to schedule an appointment. Our West Omaha carpal tunnel doctor is ready to help you heal!