What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a small passageway in the wrist that nine tendons and the median nerve travel through. True carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve in or around the tunnel resulting in hand/forearm symptoms such as:
- Muscle tightness/spasm
Commonly symptoms frequently associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are the result of dysfunction in another part of the body such as the forearm, upper arm, and cervical spine. This makes the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome variable from person to person. Overuse of muscles in the forearm, poor posture/workspace ergonomics, chronic inflammation, thoracic outlet syndrome, and cervical spine injuries are all potential origins for symptoms.
What can you do about it?
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome starts with determining the cause, but typical treatments include but are not limited to:
- Nerve flossing
- Anti-inflammatory treatments
- Wrist mobility/stability exercises
- Wrist/Forearm stretches
- Cervical spine exercises
- Chiropractic manipulation
When should I seek care?
Though carpal tunnel syndrome may resolve on its own with time, therapy can drastically reduce the amount of time patients are affected by symptoms. Examination by a professional can also provide insight into potential causes, solutions, and preventative measures.
Written by Dr. Kyle Bastean
Edited by Dr. Michael Veerman