Carpal tunnel syndrome currently affects approximately 2.7 percent of the U.S. population.
If you’re part of this group, your doctor may have been told that you’ll eventually need surgery or dangerous prescription drugs to eliminate your symptoms. There are other options, though.
If you’re not interested in having surgery, consider trying one of the alternative carpal tunnel therapy options listed below.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome starts when the carpal tunnel — the opening below the base of the wrist that holds the median nerve — becomes inflamed.
This inflammation presses on the median nerve. This pressure causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and/or wrist.
Some other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Difficulty moving the hands or arms
- Muscle weakness and shaking
- Loss of awareness of your hand’s position in space (proprioception)
You may also notice that these symptoms get worse when you’re using your hands a lot (e.g., when you’re driving, typing, or reading a book).
Alternative Carpal Tunnel Therapy Options
These non-surgical alternatives are a great place to start if you want to relieve your carpal tunnel symptoms.
Wrist splints help stabilize your wrist to avoid overextending or flexing it. They also help you avoid too much repetitive use, bending, or pressure.
Most people only wear splints at night to avoid accidentally aggravating the median nerve while they sleep. You can also wear it during the day, too, if you find your hands and wrists aching a lot.
One of the easiest ways to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is to adjust the way you sit while you’re at work. Some adjustments that can have a major impact on your pain include:
- Raising or lowering your desk
- Raising your computer screen
- Sitting up straighter
As soon as you start noticing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, check your posture to see if it could be aggravating your pain.
Surprisingly, if your spine is out of alignment, you’re more likely to experience nerve compression throughout the body.
A chiropractor can help adjust the spine to get things aligned properly and reduce your symptoms, as well as adjust the bones in the wrist and forearm directly to relieve pressure on your median nerve.
You can also visit a chiropractor or physical therapist for a therapeutic ultrasound.
This treatment uses high- or low-energy sound waves to penetrate the tissue in the wrist and hands. These sound waves help relax the muscle and reduce inflammation to minimize your symptoms.
Hand and Wrist Exercises
There are lots of hand and wrist exercises you can also do to relieve your pain and improve your range of motion.
Some good exercises to start with include:
- Clockwise and counter-clockwise wrist circles
- Spreading the fingers apart (wrap a rubber band around your fingers for extra resistance)
- Holding a prayer pose to stretch the wrists and forearms
You can do these simple exercises while watching TV or hanging out at home. Just be sure not to overstretch the painful areas — you could end up doing more damage.
Looking for Carpal Tunnel Therapy
If you live in or around The Villages, Lady Lake, or Ocala, Florida and are looking for alternative carpal tunnel therapy options, contact us at the Davis Clinic of Chiropractic today.
We’ll give you the tools you need to start feeling more like your old self.