Symptoms:
Carpal tunnel presents with numbness, tingling and weakness in the hands. Dull, sharp, or shooting pains may be present as well as increased swelling throughout the hand and/or elbow.

Causes:
Carpal tunnel is due to increased pressure on the median nerve in the elbow or wrist. Pressure on the median nerve can occur for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, overuse of the hand and forearm will create increased tension across the transverse carpal ligament (ligament in the wrist which holds structures of the wrist in place) due to swelling from inflammation. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can cause increased swelling and lead to symptoms of carpal tunnel. Pregnancy is a very common cause of swelling and may lead to carpal tunnel.

Tips:
If you experience any symptoms of carpal tunnel, ice your wrist(s) to reduce any swelling. Rest your fingers, hand, and wrist by stopping activities that may cause numbness and pain. A wrist splint at night is very beneficial in keeping the wrist in a neutral position and relieving pressure on the median nerve. At Cotton Chiropractic, we get results with adjusting the wrist and carpal bones as well as performing manual muscle therapy to the forearms and hands to reduce pain and discomfort in overactive and tight muscles. We may use ultrasound therapy as this also works for softening tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.