What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve—the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers. The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the “thumb side” of the hand (the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger). The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is normally narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes and risk factors
Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Typing on a computer keyboard and using a mouse are the most common causes of carpal tunnel. Other causes include:
- Assembly line work
- Use of tools (especially hand tools or tools that vibrate)
- Sports such as racquetball or handball
- Playing some musical instruments
A number of medical conditions are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, including:
- Chronic Inflammatory Conditions
- Bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist
- Menopause, PMS and Pregnancy
- Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
- Numbness or tingling in the palm of the hand
- Pain extending from the elbow
- Pain in wrist or hand in one or both hands
- Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
- Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)
- Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags or opening a jar (a common complaint)
- Weakness in one or both hands
Class IV Laser Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Until recently the most common treatment for Carpal Tunnel has been the use of anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, wrist splinting and surgery. These treatments do not treat the cause but the symptoms only and are not always effective long-term.
Now, however, we have a powerful, effective, non-invasive solution to reverse the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. Ending the symptoms caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires stopping the cycle of inflammation at its source. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduce inflammation and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser CUBE a Class IV Laser. This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During Laser Therapy the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level, increasing metabolic activity and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. Therefore, laser therapy creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function and strength are restored and pain is relieved.
Relief is Possible!
At Align Healing Center we are having great success treating carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, shoulder and neck pain, migraines, arthritis, tendonitis, post surgical pain, sports injuries and more; even if it’s long-term residual pain. Arthritis and degenerative disc disease sufferers can see long term benefits from this treatment without any of the negative side effects experienced with the long term use of medications.
Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner and founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. She has been active in our natural health & wellness community since 1999. For more information or to set up a consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com.