Chiropractic techniques that work so well with your spine can also be applied to other joints in your body. All the joints in your body are prone to fixations and malfunctions that impair there function and range of motion. Trauma, vibrations, and repetitive motions are often culprits. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hip problems, knees, ankles, feet and even the jaw problems have been shown to respond to chiropractic care.
The carpal tunnel is a band of ligaments and small bones in your wrist. Painful symptoms can result when nerves are compressed by a collapse of this nerve tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most expensive of all work-related injuries. Over his or her lifetime, a carpal tunnel patient loses about $30,000 in medical bills and time absent from work. Many are surprised to learn that the cause of their wrist problem may be due to functional changes to one or more joints of the neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist. This is often called the double crush syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) typically occurs in adults, with women 3 times more likely to develop it than men. The dominant hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is especially common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meatpacking, and similar industries. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, according to recent research, people who perform data entry at a computer (up to 7 hours a day) are not at increased risk of developing Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) ?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a problem of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel—a narrow tunnel at the wrist—made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist, which radiates up into the forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”—compression or trauma of the body’s nerves in the hands or feet.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) ?
Burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index, and middle fingers are most common. Some people with Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. Since many people sleep with flexed wrists, the symptoms often first appear while sleeping. As symptoms worsen, they may feel tingling during the day. In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects. Some people develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb. Some are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch.
Why Does Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Develop?
Some people have smaller carpal tunnels than others, which makes the median nerve compression more likely. In others, Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can develop because of an injury to the wrist that causes swelling, over-activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint, poor work ergonomics, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.
What Is the Treatment for Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?
Chiropractic Adjustments of the wrist and hand relieve the pain and improve joint function, stretching and strengthening exercises strengthen the muscular support around the joints which improves and maintains joint mobility and function, and soft-tissue mobilization techniques can also be helpful.
Initial therapy includes:
- Resting the affected hand and wrist
- Avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms
- Immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending
- Applying cool packs to help reduce swelling from inflammations
- Proper posture and movement can help prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) recurrences.
How Can Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) Be Prevented?
The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following 6 tips:
- Perform on-the-job conditioning, such as stretching and light exercises.
- Take frequent rest breaks.
- Wear splints to help keep the wrists straight.
- Use fingerless gloves to help keep the hands warm and flexible.
- Use correct posture and wrist position.
- To minimize workplace injuries, jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can also develop programs in ergonomics—the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to workers’ physical capabilities.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
Does it hurt when you chew, open wide to yawn or use your jaws? Do you have pain or soreness in front of the ear, in the jaw muscle, cheek, the teeth or the temples? Do you have pain or soreness in your teeth? Do your jaws make noises loud enough to bother you or others? Do you find it difficult to open your mouth wide? Does your jaw ever get stuck/locked as you open it?
If you answered “yes” to some of these questions, you may have a Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint.
Signs may include:
- Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders;
- Limited movement or locking of the jaw;
- Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth;
- A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;
- Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing.
For most people, pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles or joints is temporary, often occurs in cycles, and resolves once you stop moving the area. Some people with Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)pain, however, can develop chronic symptoms.
What Causes Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) ?
Researchers agree that Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) falls into three categories:
- Myofascial pain—discomfort or pain in the muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders;
- A dislocated jaw or displaced disc;
- Degenerative joint disease—rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint.
Severe injury to the jaw is a leading cause of Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). For example, anything from a hit in the jaw during a sporting activity to overuse syndromes, such as chewing gum excessively or chewing on one side of the mouth too frequently, may cause Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Both physical and emotional stress can lead to Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), as well. The once-common practice of sitting in a dentist’s chair for several hours with the mouth wide open may have contributed to Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) in the past. Now, most dentists are aware that this is harmful to the jaw. In addition to taking breaks while they do dental work, today’s dentists also screen patients for any weaknesses in the jaw structure that would make physical injury likely if they keep their mouths open very long. In that case, they may use medications during the procedure to minimize the injury potential, or they may send the patient to physical therapy immediately after treatment. In less severe cases, they instruct patients in exercises they can do at home to loosen up the joint after the visit.
While emotional stress itself is not usually a cause of Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), the way stress shows up in the body can be. When people are under psychological stress, they may clench their teeth, which can be a major factor in their Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Some conditions once accepted as causes of Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) have been dismissed—moderate gum chewing, non-painful jaw clicking, orthodontic treatment (when it does not involve the prolonged opening of the mouth, as mentioned above), and upper and lower jaws that have never fit together well. Popular theory now holds that while these may be triggers, they are not causes.
Women experience Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) four times as often as men. Several factors may contribute to this higher ratio, posture and higher heels.
What is the Treatment for Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) ?
If you have Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), chiropractic adjustments relieve the pain and improve joint function, applying heat/ice to help reduce swelling from inflammation, and special exercises strengthen the muscular support around the joints which improves and maintains joint mobility and function are usually helpful.
Avoid harmful joint movements. For example, chomping into a hard apple is just as bad as crunching into hard candy (some hard candies are even called “jawbreakers”—for good reason). And giant sandwiches can cause the mouth to open too wide and have a destabilizing effect on the jaw.
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