Chiropractic and Wrist Pain
Wrist pain can be caused by repetitive motion or direct trauma, causing muscle tightness or movement restriction. You could be performing a simple movement and suddenly you will feel instant pain, other times you will have a condition slowly present over a period of time, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as a result of repetitive motion.
One of the lesser known causes of wrist pain is “referred pain”, where the cause of your pain is actually located elsewhere in the body, but due to how the nervous systems of the body are connected, the pain will be felt in your wrist instead of where the injury is. When you seek treatment for wrist pain you should be sure to make sure your exam includes looking for sources of referred pain, particularly with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which shares many symptoms with referred pain from a pinched nerve in the shoulder.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the median nerve being pinched or inflamed. This nerve is located just above your wrist, and is surrounded by the carpal tunnel – made of bone, tendons and a thick ligament that surrounds the nerve. This pinching is the result of repetitive activities such as typing, hammering or pushing. The most common ways to treat this injury will include medications, injections and surgery – methods which can cause significant damage to the wrist and surrounding area, or will have significant adverse side effects.
Because Carpal Tunnel is a repetitive stress injury, it is important to get it diagnosed as early as possible. Once diagnosed, we can use manipulation of the wrist, arm and upper spine, along with physical therapies and Ultrasound therapy, to help stabilize the area and help your body heal. The advantages to Chiropractic care over traditional treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are numerous. The primary advantage is that you are treating the cause of your pain, rather than the symptoms, and you are doing so in a natural way which is minimally invasive. The risks of chiropractic are practically non-existent when compared against the large risks associated with surgery.
How will a Chiropractor help?
First a chiropractor will diagnose the cause of your wrist pain. This diagnosis will consist of a complete medical history, as well as a physical exam. Depending on the cause of your injury, the doctor may choose to have diagnostic imaging tests taken (x-ray, MRI, CT scan) to more accurately determine the cause of your injury. Once a complete diagnosis has been made, a specialized treatment plan will be created to help address your pain. This plan may include manipulation of the joint, Ultrasound treatments, EMS treatments and physical therapies. Finally, a chiropractor will help you modify your daily activities to help prevent future injury to the wrist – this may include recommendations to help stabilize the wrist and use it correctly.