This is the impingement of the median nerve in the area of the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a very small opening below base of the wrist that allows the median nerve to pass from the bones and muscles of the forearm to the palm, thumb, and fingers. It is susceptible to pressure and swelling and can easily become inflamed from overuse, hormonal changes, or arthritis. This results in a sense of numbness, tingling sensations, and can progress to excruciating pain.
CTS can be considered a repetitive strain injury as many of those who suffer from it use their hands in repetitive motions, e.g. musicians, writers, knitter, assembly-line workers, etc. Those involved in work centred on the personal computer have greatly increased the statistics on this over the past decade. It is recommended that such workers use wrist-rests, and take a break every hour to rotate their hands.
Ideally, CTS is best avoided. The next best thing would be the removal of the sources of pain, but given that one’s profession could be at stake in doing such, management of the condition is necessary. Treatment should include activities that improve circulation and reduce swelling, and supplementing the diet with Vitamin B6. The help of a Chiropractor, an Acupuncturist, or an Osteopath can be sought in order to address the structural issues and bring about resolution.
At A Glance
Causes: these can be identified as Vitamin B6 deficiency, pregnancy or other hormonal changes that cause fluid retention, constant vibration of the fingers and the hand, inflammatory arthritis in the wrist, and continuous use of the fingers and the hand.
Treatment: visit a Chiropractor or an Osteopath to have adjustments performed on the wrist, arm, shoulder, and neck. Stop all repetitive hand motions for a few days. Use a cold press to reduce swelling. Use a wrist-rest if you spend long hours at the computer.
Prevention: the client can reduce or eliminate source of sugar and sodium which encourage fluid retention, and avoid saturated fats which slows circulation.