Have you ever experienced pain, numbness, weakness, or other uncomfortable symptoms in your hands or wrists? If you have, you may automatically think it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, which leads you to believe you will need surgery to fix the issue. But did you know that treatment guidelines suggest first trying a conservative approach to manage pain? Surgery is only usually recommended after attempting all non surgical options, unless it is an emergency issue, of course.
This is mainly because of outcomes and general risks which come along with surgery, like anesthesia, infection, bleeding, or further injuries. One study found that patients who receive this surgery do not return to work for an average of 8 weeks. Patients could even experience lessened strength and dexterity in the hand/arm after the surgery.
A study looked at 56 middle aged patients who received surgical care. It found that only ⅔ of patients reported improved symptoms following the surgery. One in four experienced full resolution.
There have been many studies showing that conservative approaches, like chiropractic care, are much more effective than surgical treatments. A study of 120 women split them into two groups: half of them received three manual therapy treatments, and the other half received a carpal tunnel decompression surgical procedure. Results found that the nonsurgical group found more pain relief in the short term, as well as similar results at the one year point.
Chiropractors will look at the entire person and make sure to treat the body as a whole rather than the one complaint area. Sometimes, the root of the issue could be coming from another area of the body. CTS is usually caused by pressure on the median nerve at a point on its way to the hand. This is why it is important to review a patient’s full history, which could be more helpful in diagnosing CTS. A thorough examination should also be done through the median nerve as it travels all the way from the neck into the shoulder.
If you’re in pain, schedule a visit today. We can help.