Millions of Americans suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that occurs when the median nerve running from the forearm into the hands is pinched or pressed.
Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, and, if severe enough weakness in hand and grip strength.
“People who have an occupation that involves lots of repetitive wrist or hand motions, like assembly line workers or hair stylists, are more susceptible,” said Dr. Zac Sheedy, chiropractor and clinic director at Sycamore Integrated Health.
The condition is three times more common among assemblers than among data-entry personnel, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
“Repetitive motion overworks the tendons in the wrist that can get inflamed,” said Sheedy. “The nerves, blood vessels and tendons all run through the wrist so there’s a lot going on.”
Sheedy advised getting a diagnosis from a qualified health provider.
“You have to make sure it is coming from nerve tension in your wrist, because it can clearly be in the neck, shoulder or elbow, as well,” he said. “You also want to make sure it’s not coming from any sort of disease like diabetes or from a drug reaction.”
According to Sheedy, early treatment is key.
“The longer the pressure is on that nerve the worse it gets,” he said.
Sycamore offers non-pharmaceutical and nonsurgical intervention for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
“We want to keep people out of surgery and off medication,” said Sheedy. “Chiropractic can be beneficial, as can exercises and stretching. We also do physical therapy in our office.
“Some more severe cases may need surgery if regular therapy does not help, but if you can avoid surgery you definitely should,” said Sheedy.
Nutritional supplements can also help.
“Vitamin B6 repairs nerve damage and omega-3s help with inflammation, Sheedy said.
To learn more about creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, contact Sycamore Integrated Health, 920 W. Prairie Drive, Suite J, Sycamore, IL 60178, (815) 895-3354, www.sycamoreintegratedhealth.com