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Health Updates

Monday, November 6, 2017

Courtesy of Russell R Van Hemert DC

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most expensive of all work-related injuries. Over his or her lifetime, a carpal tunnel patient pays about $30,000 in medical bills and loses hours of productivity from work absences. CTS typically occurs in adults, with women three times more likely to develop it than men. The dominant hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe. CTS is especially common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meatpacking, and similar industries.

CTS is a problem of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand. CTS occurs when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel—a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. CTS is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the hands or feet.

What Is the Treatment for CTS? Initial therapy includes: • Resting the affected hand and wrist • Avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms • Immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending • Applying cool packs to help reduce swelling from inflammation. Some medications can help with pain control and inflammation. Studies have shown that vitamin B6 supplements may relieve CTS symptoms. Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga can be helpful. Scientists are also investigating other therapies, such as acupuncture, that may help prevent and treat this disorder.

By ACA

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