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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Jacksonville, FL

Defining Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome enjoys the distinct recognition of being one of the most expensive work-related injuries in Jacksonville Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. This disease can cost people upwards of $30,000 or more in medical treatment and often costs employees thousands of hours on the job each year. While this affliction generally affects women more than men, it does typically target the dominant hand over the hand that is used less often. As the disease progresses, the pain associated with it becomes more severe and sometimes reaches a point where people can no longer work or function in everyday life normally.

People who are at a particular risk of developing CTS include people who work in:

  • Sewing or crafting
  • Manufacturing
  • Finishing
  • Cleaning
  • Meatpacking
  • Typing or data entry
  • And other jobs that require extensive use of the hands, wrists, and lower arms

As sufferers work, they put pressure on their arms' median nerve, which is located in the forearm and runs to the length of the hand. It is located in the carpal tunnel, hence the conditions' name. Labeled as one of several entrapment neuropathies, CTS carries with it side effects like hand and finger weakness, pain, and numbness in the hand and wrist. It also makes itself known in sufferers through symptoms like:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Numbness of the fingers

Many sufferers report feeling these symptoms first at nighttime as they are trying to go to sleep. These symptoms make it feel as if people's hands have fallen asleep as well, such as when someone sleeps awkwardly on their hands and fingers. However, as the disease progresses people who have CTS report losing feeling or sensation in their hands and wrists. Some lose it to the point that they cannot distinguish between hot and cold anymore. They also can no longer make a fist or flex their hands normally.

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Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While CTS can and often does develop because of overuse of the hands, fingers, and wrists, as well as compression of the median nerve, it also can be attributed to factors like:

  • an injury to the hands, fingers, or wrist
  • an overactive pituitary gland
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Fluid retention from hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy or menopause
  • Mechanical afflictions of the wrist joint.

To determine how a person's CTS came on, chiropractors and other Jacksonville, Florida providers may perform examinations of a person's neck, hands, elbows, and shoulders. 

This exam will determine if the onset of the disease can be linked to an underlying disorder or if it was caused be overuse of hands, fingers, and wrists. A chiropractor may also perform a pressure-provocative test, during which pressure will be put on the median nerve via a medical cuff. A carpal compression test may also be performed. This test involves the provider putting pressure on the median nerve and carpal tunnel at the transverse carpal ligament.

Along with these tests, a chiropractor may also order x-rays and MRIs to determine if other conditions could be contributing to a person's CTS. Conditions that could mimic or affect CTS have been identified as:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Other sprains and strains in the wrist and hands

Once diagnosed...

Once diagnosed, patients may be offered treatments that include:

  • Resting
  • Stopping activities that aggravate the symptoms
  • Splinting or bracing the wrist to prevent further aggravation
  • Using cold packs to reduce pain, swelling, tingling, and other symptoms

Chiropractors may also use therapeutic massages and exercises, stretching activities, soft tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga to help patients recover.

In Some Instances...

In some instances, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may be so severe that surgical intervention is the only viable treatment for the sufferer. People who undergo this surgery often experience long-lasting relief and can resume their normal activities. Although there are some surgical failures in which the operation itself is a failure or scar tissue continues to build within the Carpal Tunnel bringing on the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms again.

Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Chiropractors and other medical providers urge people to take precautions to avoid developing CTS throughout their careers. These preventative measures are:

  • Stretching before typing, packing, sewing, and other job duties
  • Taking breaks to relieve pain and stress on the hands, fingers, and wrists
  • Splinting the wrists to protect the hands and fingers
  • Donning finger-less gloves to keep the hands and wrists warmed while working
  • Using ergonomic positioning like correct posture while typing, packing, and other work duties 

Employers are likewise advised to be mindful of their employees' risk of CTS. They may find it prudent to rotate workers in various job stations to prevent overuse and stress of workers' hands, fingers, and wrists. CTS can bring a person's career to a halt and also cost that person a lot of money in medical bills. People can avoid developing this condition by using preventative measures at work and also be seeking out fast diagnosis and treatment.