When our arms, fingers and hands feel weak, it can be challenging to do things, mainly since we depend on them daily to get things done. Have you ever thought that it could be a real problem? If you have ever felt a tingling sensation that almost feels like your arms, fingers and hands have gone numb, then it might be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is it, you ask? It is also referred to as median nerve compression, where pressure is placed on the median nerve that runs through our arm and goes through a passage in our wrist called the carpal tunnel and channels that pressure to our hand. Therefore, this causes the arm, hand and fingers to feel numb and weak.
There are symptoms that you can observe and see whether any of these apply to your condition:
- Weakness in your hand: Being unable to hold a firm grip on objects
- Tingling sensations: Shock-like sensations that travel along your arm to your fingers, usually affecting most of your fingers and thumb – except the little finger.
The range of discomfort can depend on the time of day, such as your fingers feeling more numb than usual at night when you sleep and waking up feeling more numb when your hand or wrist is bent when you hold something.
The causes for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are primarily due to physical triggers, such as whiplash or an injury caused by an accident or fall. You don’t have to have a bodily injury to your arm, hands and fingers to have carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve hit a blow on your head, neck or shoulders, the nerves in your upper cervical area have probably been damaged, causing the numbness and tingling sensations in the first place.
DID YOU KNOW?: Shaking your hands out to relieve it from numbing is one way, but it doesn’t serve as a permanent solution. So don’t think that as long as you do this all the time, it’ll go away!
Are there risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Though there is no definitive cause for carpal tunnel syndrome, several factors increase your risk of having the condition. Some of these risk factors include:
- Existing illnesses: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and other pre-existing conditions can increase nerve damage, including the median nerve.
- Work-related factors: Having a job that requires using your hand or wrist to handle machinery or vibrating tools increase the risk of damaging the median nerve due to repetitive flexing
- Sex: Studies have shown that women have a higher risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome as their carpal tunnel area is smaller than men.
- Other medical conditions: Obesity, pregnancy, menopause or thyroid disorders also increase the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Physical injury: Fracturing or dislocating your wrist places immense pressure on your median nerve, increasing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
How Are You Diagnosed With It?
Most patients who are experiencing numbness in their arms will pay a visit to a general practitioner. If their symptoms do not subside with medication, doctors may refer patients to a physiotherapist or orthopaedist.
Doctors may recommend imaging tests such as CT scans, x-rays and MRI scans to eliminate other possible conditions apart from carpal tunnel syndrome. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed along with some light exercise recommendations that can relieve you of pain for the time being; what happens if your issue ceases to be solved?
Instead of drowning your system with anti-inflammatory drugs, consider getting your upper cervical area checked out by a chiropractor.
How Can A Chiropractor Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The upper cervical area consists of the brain-stem and cranial nerve centres. Upper Cervical Subluxation, which is a misalignment in that area, puts pressure on the brainstem and affects the cranial nerve centres, contributing to the pinching of the median nerve along the arm and fingers as well. As the head, neck, shoulders and arms are all connected via the cranial nerves, this causes the numbing and tingling sensations closely associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be challenging to treat and possibly cause more problems for you in the future, so don’t take it lightly! Suppose you’re in Singapore and need a chiropractor to give you a more detailed diagnosis of your condition and relief from your pain. Why not book a consultation at Vitality Chiropractic Centres and get yourself checked out by our chiropractor? Our chiropractor specialises in Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, particularly effective at resolving arm pain and hand numbness-related issues.
Take control of your life with our help. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any enquiries!