Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: It Doesn’t Have To Be Surgical

Quad City Chiropractor Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By: Clay Kuethe D.C. (Dr. Clay)

That picture doesn’t look like a good outcome for carpal tunnel syndrome. Wearing a wrist splint for a majority of the day, or having a surgery to prevent the symptoms just doesn’t seem like the best that modern medicine can do. Especially if 3-6% of the population has carpal tunnel syndrome.1 Of course, there are many other options to help deal with carpal tunnel syndrome. We will discuss exactly what carpal tunnel syndrome is and some of the treatment options. That way, you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? 

Most people think of carpal tunnel syndrome as wrist pain. What carpal tunnel syndrome actually is, is a median nerve entrapment neuropathy. This fancy terms means that the median nerve, the nerve that supplies part of the palm of your and and thumb, pointer, and middle finger, is getting compressed as it travels through your carpal tunnel (aka: your wrist). This compression can result in pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness.

This nerve entrapment can occur when this tunnel is narrowed an there is not as much room for the nerve. The tunnel can become narrowed by a bone being mis-aligned or by the tendons that go through tunnel becoming enlarged. Either scenario can compress the nerve or create inflammation in the nerve, resulting in the neuropathy.

How Does This Happen?

The most common occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive use injuries. Whether you are sorting mail, typing all day, cutting hair, working on cars, or doing massages all day; you are stressing the gripping portion of your hand. This can cause the tendons going through your carpal tunnel to increase in size. The muscles that bend your fingers are actually in your forearm. The tendons come from those muscles. So if you use those muscles all day and they become bigger, the tendons become bigger as well. Some of these professions also put your wrist at an odd angle that can cause your lunate bone (a bone in the middle of your wrist) to drop down. This narrows the tunnel and increases the compression.

There are also bone malformations, arthritis, and bodily conditions that can contribute to this problem. When you are pregnant or have diabetes, you retain fluid. This fluid retention can concentrate itself in your arms and legs causing swelling. This swelling increases pressure in the carpal tunnel and can result in the same symptoms.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Chiropractic care is a great treatment option. Our whole philosophy is to increase nerve function so that the body can heal itself. A lot of people think that Chiropractors only adjust the spine. Some do, but we are all trained to adjust all of the joints in the body. This includes the wrist. Some Chiropractors, like myself, are trained in soft tissue work. This means that we loosen tight muscles to reduce inflammation. We can also use therapeutic ultrasound to heat these muscles and increase blood flow to the area. This is another way to reduce the inflammation in the carpal tunnel. I cannot promise that this course of treatment is entirely painless, but it is highly effective.  Take a look at a few of our testimonials below.

Typical treatment from your medical doctor will start with some form of oral corticosteroid to help reduce the inflammation and some form of splint to keep the wrist from moving. I am okay with the use of splints in an acute situation. As for long term use, you are preventing normal motion. This will weaken the muscles that you use to move the joint. So whenever you are not wearing the brace, you are at an increased risk for injury.

Once the oral corticosteroids lose their effectiveness, they will probably move to steroid injections to reduce the inflammation. This will work for awhile, until your body gets used to it. Then they will recommend that you have surgery. In this surgery, they will cut the sheath that is holding your tendons and nerves in place. This will be great for awhile. But the body realizes that this area is no longer stable, and will put down scar tissue to stabilize the area. Over time, scar tissue will accumulate and once again cause compression on the nerve. This will require another surgery, followed by another, and another, indefinitely.

The least invasive approach would be Chiropractic care, followed by drugs, and finally surgery. Your choice of treatment is entirely up to you. Make sure that you make an informed decision, so that you do not regret it later. If you are looking for high quality Chiropractic Care in Davenport, Iowa, give us a call! Get Adjusted and Be Well!


1. Atroshi  I, Gummesson  C, Johnsson  R, Ornstein  E, Ranstam  J, Rosén  I.  Prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome in a general population.  JAMA.  1999;282(2):153–158.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook Comments:

Thank You!

Best Chiropractor In Davenport

Welcome Video


Monday 8:45 - 5:00
Tuesday 8:45 - 6:00
Wednesday 8:45 - 4:30
Thursday 8:45 - 6:00
Friday 8:45 - 5:00
Closed Saturday & Sunday