One area to consider is driving. When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome pain most individuals think about keyboard typing, as the source of arm, wrist, and hand pain. This is true, but carpal tunnel can develop from:
- Any repetitive motion
- Bending at the wrist
- Vibrations going through the wrist
Long-distance truckers, those who drive for business or regular long pleasure trips on winding mountain roads can take a toll on the muscles, tendons, ligaments of the arms and hands. Combining a regular job, stacking, scanning, lifting, and typing away most of the day, then long commutes, and weekends driving around, an individual can begin to present with arm, hand, and finger pain.
Signs and Symptoms
Carpal tunnel can sneak up when least expected. Most individuals begin to feel a burning, tingling, or numbness in the thumb and first two fingers, and for some, the palm, as well. Discomfort or pain usually presents at night and in the morning. If the condition becomes worse, individuals often feel the need to shake out the hand or wrists, trying to bring relief from the pain and tightness. It can affect one hand or both hands. The pain can continue to increase and climb up the arm. Then normal tasks like pumping gas or writing with a pen become unbearable.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The median nerve controls the sensations to the palm, the thumb, and the four fingers of the hand. The nerve runs through a small passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Swelling or thickening of the tendons narrow the tight space and irritate the nerve.
There are different ways to diagnose the condition. To avoid damaging the median nerve, it is important to get a diagnosis as early as possible.
- A doctor or chiropractor may order orthopedic or neurological testing.
- They might perform a nerve conduction study, where small electrodes are placed on the wrists and fingers, then small amounts of electrical current are run through the electrodes.
- The speed at which the nerves transmit the electric conduction is measured.
The most common treatment is complete rest of the affected hand/s and wrist/s for fourteen to twenty-one days. Other treatments include:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Stretches for the hands, arms, and wrists.
- Strengthening exercises for the hands, arms, and wrists.
There is Still Pain At Night or When Driving
This is common and in many cases is brought on from bending the wrist. Recommended tips to help ease the pain of carpal tunnel include:
- Stretch hands and arms before driving
- Position hands at 3 and 9 oclock on the wheel
- Wear a brace that will keep the wrist and hand straight
- Keep hands warm by wearing driving gloves
- Apply pain ointment/cream before driving and keep on hand
A chiropractor is a highly trained specialist in the entire body’s musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment can help avoid developing chronic pain and surgery in the future. Correcting subluxations and restoring optimal blood and nerve energy flow in the arms, hands, and rest of the body is the objective. Chiropractic investigates and treats the compression of nerves anywhere in the body, including the forearm and wrist. Realigning the spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist, blood circulation and nerve impulses will flow freely once again. A chiropractor could also recommend:
- Heat/Ice therapy
- Physical rehabilitation therapy
- TENS device
- Infrared laser treatments
The treatment plan will depend on each individual’s unique case and circumstances. At Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic, we care about each individual’s situation and are committed to doing whatever it takes to alleviate the pain and get the individual back to optimal health.
Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
All plant-based foods are generally a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel substance when it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Foods high in soluble fiber include:
- Oat products
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. The term roughage generally refers to this type. Roughage speeds up transition time in the digestive system. This is the basis for eating more insoluble fiber, to prevent constipation by helping food move through the system. Foods high in insoluble fiber include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole-grain couscous
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The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Savage, Robert. Re: Carpal Tunnel syndrome and work. Journal of hand surgery (Edinburgh, Scotland) vol. 30,3 (2005): 331; author reply 331. doi:10.1016/j.jhsb.2005.02.007
Haas, DC et al. Carpal tunnel syndrome following automobile collisions. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation vol. 62,5 (1981): 204-6.