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Can Chiropractors Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Can Chiropractors Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

cross_section_of_carpal_tunnel.jpgCarpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS),named from the carpal bones in the wrist that form a tunnel around the nerveleading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by repetitive and forcefulmovements that result in misalignment of those carpals and swelling around the tendons, pinching of the mediannerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in thehand, and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTSis a risk to most workers, such as those who work on the computer and alsostore and assembly line workers, who receive micro-traumas to their hands andwrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitivemovements, and stressful activity. [1,2]

The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend toheavy medication and surgery, however there are alternative methods oftreatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS.Chiropractic treatment for CTS has beenstudied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment by Davis et al. [1]and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who areintolerant to ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating withmedication.

The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes CarpalTunnel Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bonesin the areas around the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord losetheir ordinary position or motion, this can cause problems in the wrists orfingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones can be reset to thecorrect position and can help to treat CTS.

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgerycan be avoided, and chiropractic treatment is the leading method ofnon-surgical treatment. Chiropractic treatment usually involves various methods[3], with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation,including:

By chiropractic adjustments of theelbow and lower spine, where the joints soft tissue undergoes manipulation [4];

Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6,a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its treatment of CTS;

Microlight 830 Cold Laser Therapy.  A low level UV light that works at the cellular level to heal the micro traumas encouraging recovery andeasing the swelling in the tendons;

Exercises for the wrist and hand designed toencourage recovery;

Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place tominimize stress the best way as possible.

Recent studies, such as that by J. Burke et al (2007)[5],concluded that using manual therapy intervention such as soft tissuemobilization (STM) has been found to helpimprove the signs and symptoms of CTS, withimprovements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist strength and motion.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem,and if left too long may require surgery. If its caught early, thenchiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptomsand pains caused by CTS, and providelong-term relief from CTS.


[1] P.T. Davis et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998(Jun);21 (5): 317-326 (1998)

[2] R.Valente and H. Gibson, J Manipulative Physiol Ther1994;17(4):2469 (1994)

[3] R. Perez de Leon & S. Auyong, J Chiropr Med. 2002Spring; 1(2): 7578. (2002)

[4] P.T. Davis and J.R. Hulbert, J Manipulative Physiol Ther1998;21(5):35662 (1998)

[5] J. Burke et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007Jan;30(1):50-61. (2007)