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The effects of your day-to-day work on your body can lead to work-related injuries that chiropractors often are called upon to help.

One of those is called carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), labeled the most expensive work-related injury due to medical costs and loss of work productivity that result from the injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common among assembly-line workers in various industries, but can even effect any one who uses a computer regularly.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome typically occurs in adults, with women three times more likely to develop it than men. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, gets compressed in the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and soft tissues.

Compression of the carpal tunnel may result in pain, weakness and/or numbness of the hand and wrist up into the forearm. Symptoms include burning, tingling, itching and/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index and middle fingers.

Carpal tunnel develops because some people have smaller carpal tunnels than others, making them more susceptible to median nerve compression. It can also develop due to an injury, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, repeated use of vibrating hand tools and fluid retention during pregnancy, among others.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented, however, by following these recommendations:

  • Condition while on the job by stretching or doing light exercises.
  • Rest frequently if possible.
  • Maintain correct posture and wrist position.
  • Inquire as to whether your workplace can rotate jobs among workers so that you are not doing the same task repeatedly. Encourage employers to consider ergonomics, which is the process of adapting job demands to workersphysical abilities.

Chiropractic Procedures

It is best if CTS is diagnosed and treated early. Initial treatment includes resting the affected area, avoiding activities that could worsen symptoms, using a splint to immobilize the wrist and applying cold packs to reduce swelling and inflammation. If not treated early may require you to wear splints to keep wrists straight and/or fingerless gloves to keep hands warm and pliant.

Chiropractic procedures, including joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, and soft-tissue mobilization techniques can help.

Luckily, most patients recover completely after treatment, and the recurrence rate is low.

If you think your body may be exhibiting signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you would just like more prevention tips, give us a call at Advantage Chiropractic Clinic at 334-821-2552. We are happy to help in any way we can to help you live life more comfortably. #ACC #Auburn

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