Carpal Tunnel and Wrist Pain
Get Non-Invasive, Integrated Care
Do you suffer from wrist pain? Does it hurt to text, type, or grip a tennis racquet or golf club? Are you avoiding doing the things you love because they’re painful? We understand how debilitating it can be. But you don’t have to live in pain, and you can get your range of motion back. You can also prevent wrist pain from recurring. We believe one of the first steps in finding elbow pain relief is understanding your pain, how your elbows work, and what’s causing the pain in the first place.
How Your Wrists Work
Your wrists, of course, connect your hands to your forearms. They consist of the distal ends of the radius and ulna forearm bones, eight carpal bones, and the proximal ends of five metacarpal bones. Your wrists also have tendons and nerves.
When they’re healthy, your wrists are possibly your most flexible joints. They allow your hands to bend back and forth, straighten, move side to side, and rotate. They are also susceptible to injury, from a variety of causes.
Causes of Wrist Pain
There are several causes of wrist pain, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
- Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis
The cause of your wrist pain will dictate your treatment plan. If your wrist pain is due to a form of arthritis, you can find more information on your condition and how Cima Health can help, at the links above.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome, frequently shortened to simply carpal tunnel or CTS, is one of the most common causes of wrist and hand pain. In medical terms, it is called median nerve compression. The median nerve runs the length of your arm. CTS happens when there is pressure on the median nerve where it runs through a space at your wrist called the carpal tunnel.
The carpal tunnel is at the base of your palm. CTS happens when the tube narrows or the nerve and tendons get inflamed, or both. Pressure on the median nerve causes pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand, fingers, and sometimes your arm.
Carpal Tunnel Risk Factors
There are a wide range of risk factors for carpal tunnel – most of which you can control. They include:
- Being a woman (Women are 3 times more likely than men to get it.)
- Have a job that involves repetitive motions with your hands, such as typing, cutting hair, using vibrating tools, etc.
- Play sports that involve the wrist, such as racquet sports, golf, rowing, bodybuilding, etc.
- You’re overweight
- You’re pregnant
- You have diabetes
- You have hypothyroidism
While you can’t do much about your genetics, you can take control over many of the other risk factors.
Carpal Tunnel FAQs
Q: What does carpal tunnel feel like?
A: Carpal tunnel symptoms include tingling and numbness in your palm and thumb, or forefinger and middle finger. It may also feel like your hand falls asleep. You may feel weakness in your hand and have trouble gripping or holding things. You may also feel tingling that moves up your arm.
Q: How do you diagnose carpal tunnel?
A: An initial carpal tunnel test is a test called Tinel’s sign, in which you flex your wrist with your arm extended. Your provider taps your skin above the median nerve. If you feel tingling, you may have nerve compression.
Other diagnostic tests include:
- Imaging tests
- Nerve conduction tests
If you are claiming a workplace injury under workers' compensation, you may need to have extensive testing to determine the degree of nerve compression or entrapment.
Q: Does carpal tunnel go away?
A: Yes. It’s easier to get rid of carpal tunnel if you start treatment as soon as you have symptoms. In most cases, it will go away with a conservative course of treatment. If you don’t treat it, it will continue to worsen. Some people with advanced cases may need carpal tunnel surgery.
Q: How do you treat carpal tunnel?
A: Here at Cima Health, we take a non-invasive, integrated approach to treating your carpal tunnel. Our goal is to relieve your pain and help you avoid surgery.
How Cima Health Can Help
Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target the root cause of your wrist pain. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your pain. We will also ask questions about your work and home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with conservative and alternative treatments that can help you achieve whole-body wellness and live pain-free for life.
Treating and preventing carpal tunnel and wrist pain involves several treatment modalities, all of which you can receive in one location. They include:
- Chiropractic Care
- Joint Injections
- Physical Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Physical Fitness
Let’s take a look at how each of these areas works together to provide you with natural pain relief and inspires you to make lifestyle changes to prevent elbow pain in the future.
Chiropractic care may provide nearly immediate wrist pain relief, depending on the underlying cause of your pain. Chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy, dry needling, and Class IV laser treatment can all help relieve your pain. Regular chiropractic care may also help you avoid surgery.
Specifically, for carpal tunnel patients, your chiropractor will prescribe rest, a wrist brace to wear while you’re sleeping, and regular adjustments. They will also educate you on how to prevent carpal tunnel in the future.
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors are all highly trained professionals and include:
Working with wrist pain/carpal tunnel
Working with wrist/carpal tunnel pain can be difficult, if not impossible, depending on your occupation. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help tremendously. But if your job requires you to be on the computer all day or use vibrating tools, you may need work accommodations until your wrists heal and you return to full duty.
Your chiropractor can recommend work restrictions to your employer if needed, such as an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, an alternative job, etc. This is especially true if you are seeing the chiropractor as part of a workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor will discuss this with you as necessary.
In addition to chiropractic care for carpal tunnel and wrist pain relief, your team may determine you would benefit from joint injections. Our medical care team administers joint injections as needed for our patients suffering from wrist pain.
Known as corticosteroid injections, steroid injections can provide immediate wrist pain relief. Thus, it’s a common treatment for CTS. Steroids reduce swelling in connective tissue, which relieves the pressure on the median nerve. You will be limited to a certain number of steroid injections each year because of potential side effects. And of course, our goal is to help you find pain relief through other modalities, including physical therapy, weight loss, exercise, and more.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is another treatment where we help your body heal itself. Using your own plasma, we can help your body heal tissue, tendons, and muscles faster.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy, when combined with other treatments can also help with wrist pain. Your physical therapist may use manual therapy, joint mobilization, laser therapy, and other treatments to address your wrist pain and help you heal.
We will develop a plan that includes carpal tunnel exercise and stretching program to help you get carpal tunnel relief and an exercise and stretching program for other wrist pain in order to increase your wrist strength, mobility, and flexibility. You will be able to do many of these exercises and stretches at home as well as with your physical therapist at Cima Health.
Massage therapy is another modality we offer that can complement the other treatments. Targeted, therapeutic massage can reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Deep tissue massage stimulates the muscles, tendons, and blood vessels in and around your wrist, improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Massage therapy can be especially helpful for patients with carpal tunnel, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis. And of course, massage will also relax you and improve your mental wellbeing.
The last component of preventing wrist pain and carpal tunnel is becoming physically fit. Maintaining strong bones requires regular exercise, and can help reduce your risk of arthritis. And since obesity is a risk factor for carpal tunnel, losing weight can help you prevent it. And be getting physically fit, you can enjoy life more.
Our physical fitness team of personal trainers can help develop an exercise and weight loss regimen tailored to you that reduces your wrist pain and helps prevent it from returning in the future. We will also focus on injury prevention and proper form if playing a sport is what is causing your pain.
The entire team at Cima Health works together to provide you with coordinated care and restorative, lifelong solutions.
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Wrist pain can make it hard to work, as well as do the things you love – like play tennis or golf. But it can also interfere with your ability to take care of your children. If you’re looking for non-invasive, integrative treatment for carpal tunnel or wrist pain, book an appointment today. One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to get to the root cause of your pain and develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.