Monthly Archives: March 2015

7 Chiropractic Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Without Medication or Surgery

Bethlehem-Pennsylvania-Chiropractor-Carpal-Tunnel-SyndromeYou’ve probably felt thumb, hand or wrist pain before after doing a lot of gripping work, computer work or engaging in lots of texting on the phone, but is this pain carpal tunnel syndrome? Or leading to it?

My clients come in with various hand pains, which they experience as aching, pins and needles, burning, cramping, weakness, or numbness especially at night and when you flex your wrist. Sometimes the wrist and hands just feel swollen.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, is a common health concern which is experienced around the wrist area. And it is important that you know if you are getting CTS because the most common treatment for CTS can be severe -it involves either medication or surgery. This can include heavy medication or serious surgery. If you have symptoms that sound like CTS, the good news is, even if it has gotten to the point of excruciating, it is possible to avoid surgery and medication and receive effective, less intrusive treatments.

Chiropractors effectively manage conditions like CTS using natural, painless, less intrusive methods. A Chiropractor will be able to get to know your body and how to alleviate pain and solve a CTS problem as soon as it occurs.

Now, by understanding your CTS symptoms you can appreciate what your body is going through and be in the best position to work with your chiropractor to alleviate the pain and symptoms. Let’s dive in…

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

The carpal bones are small bones in the wrist area that form a tunnel that surrounds the nerve leading to the hand, called the median nerve. When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs, the tendons and joints become swollen which pinches the median nerve inside. CTS is usually initiated by forceful or repetitive movements that occur at the wrist as well as with the entire arm and shoulder complex. These movements result in swelling around your tendons, which leads to and is experienced as pinching of the median nerve. CTS can also occur due to a compression of the nerves along their tracks down and up from your neck. If a forceful or repetitive stress activity effects your neck, the symptoms may or not be felt at the neck but may be transmitted all the way down into your hands and is experienced as CTS-like symptoms.

What Are the Specific Symptoms Associated with CTS?

If you are experiencing CTS symptoms, you may be feeling painful tingling in your hand or arm area. There may also be a lack of muscle strength in your arm, or you may lose control of your hand, with pain shooting from your hand up to your shoulder.

Who Experiences CTS?

CTS is a common workplace, as well as computer user’s, hazard. Repetitive motions can cause CTS to occur due to repetitive computer and office tasks. This means that many workers are at risk of developing CTS symptoms. Store and factory workers who may frequently receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists are especially at risk.

CTS injury is often due to the awkward positioning; forceful and repetitive movements, repetitive wrist flexion and extension activities, using vibratory tools, and doing lots of gripping.

How to Avoid Medicine and Surgery with Chiropractic Treatment

If you wish to avoid opting for medicine or surgery to alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, there are certain steps that you can take. This is particularly helpful if you have a preference against medication or you have intolerance to Ibuprofen.

Importantly, CTS should be diagnosed early on. If the diagnosis is neglected for too long, the condition can become severe. In this case, surgery may be an obligatory requirement. However, the good news is that if CTS is caught in its early stages, chiropractic treatment can be a very effective solution.

How Effective Can Chiropractic Treatment Be for CTS?

Chiropractic treatment for CTS is a drug-free method, which alleviates your pain and can offer long-term relief. When studied against other conventional, non-surgical medical treatment, chiropractic treatment for CTS was found to be effective.

How Does Chiropractic Treatment for CTS Work?

CTS is caused by the median nerve in the wrist becoming trapped. These nerves connect to the spinal cord through the opening in the bones in your lower neck. Your CTS symptoms often occur when these lower neck bones are misplaced or move to a different position. Chiropractic treatment can gently reset the bones to their correct position which can help alleviate CTS symptoms.

7 Chiropractic Methods to Alleviate the Pain Caused by CTS

Chiropractic treatment can occasionally involve a combination of various chiropractic methods. The following seven methods are the key chiropractic treatments that can effectively help your CTS symptoms.

  1. Chiropractic Manipulation Therapy: Manipulation Therapy involves manipulation of the wrist, elbow and upper spine area. This is where your joint’s soft tissue can undergo manipulation to affect the surrounding area. Recent studies have concluded that manual therapy intervention, such as soft tissue mobilization (also called STM), helps to improve the signs and symptoms of CTS. STM can be particularly effective in improving nerve conduction latencies, which positively impacts wrist strength and motion. No other profession effectively delivers this type of treatment.
  2. Intake of Nutritional Supplements: Supplements to a balanced diet can promote long-term healing. Nutritional supplements such as B6 can be particularly effective and has been promoted as a long-standing supplement for the treatment of CTS.
  3. Bracing: This treatment involves bracing, which is a technique that has had extensive success. Bracing limits extension and flexion in your hand. Compression on the median nerve can encourage recovery and ease swelling in the tendons.
  4. Ice and Rest:  Ice is an effective treatment to relieve the swelling around the nerve and is also deliverer often at the wrist when indicated. Rest helps to put an end to the causative factors that are resulting in the nerve compression.
  5. Ultrasound and Electrical Stimulation Modalities: Ultrasound therapy has been shown to assist carpal tunnel syndrome. Huisstede et al (2010). Acupuncture has been shown to decrease carpal tunnel pain. Sim et al (2011), Kumnerddee & Kaewtong (2010), Yang et al (2011). Using electrical stimulation has been shown to ease the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Kara et al (2010).
  6. Daily Exercises: Specifically tailored exercises can effectively promote recovery and the easing of symptoms when carried out daily. Exercises, given to you by your chiropractor, help to work the wrist and hand, which are designed to encourage recovery.
  7. Reassessment of the Work Place Efficiency: Reviewing the ergonomics of the way you work can significantly help to minimize stress, which will promote recovery and prevent further injury.

Do you have any questions? Our team is happy to help you and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Dr. Nicole Muschett, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Chiropractor, is here to help overcome CTS. She offers a no-obligation free consultation, to get to know you and the problems you are experiencing. Just contact us today.


Effortlessly Tone Your Muscles for Strength, Healing and Health with Kinesio Taping: 3 Key Benefits

kinesio-tapingKinesio Taping has become a common and well-known approach to healing injuries and promoting healthy joints and muscles. It is especially effective for those who have stress on your joints like those of athletes, women’s body pain due to hormonal changes and pregnancy and many other important health concerns.

This article aims to help you to understand how Kinesio taping may help you and your whole body health. Whether you are experiencing an injury or other pain symptoms like hip and back pain or arm and shoulder weakness, Kinesio Treatment may be right approach for healing for you.

We would always advise to consult with us as your Chiropractor to understand how Kinesio Taping may specifically help you. However, we hope that this article will help you make the right decision with your chiropractor, to find the right solution for your body. After all, each of our bodies, injuries and symptoms are different, and as such require different treatments and treatment approaches.

What is Kinesio Taping?

The Kinesio Taping Method is a physiological therapy which is commonly practiced by chiropractors and specialists within sports medicine. Kinesio Taping requires a specific type of tape, which when applied, can give the necessary support to muscles under pressure, whilst they flex. Kinesio Taping was developed in 1973 by Dr. Kenzo Kase.

Awareness of the benefits of Kinesio Taping increased globally when the treatment was used by the Japanese Olympians. The treatment is practiced particularly prevalently amongst athletes and sportsmen as a result.

You may recognize Kinesio Tex Tape as the brightly colored tape that athletes are famously seen using during their warm-ups, and sometimes during their athletic performances.

The Kinesio Taping method positively impacts physiological changes to several key body systems.

This can include helping your joints feel more mobile and pain-free, improving the perfusion of your circulatory and lymphatic systems, as well as strengthening and allowing healthy movement in your muscles and fascia.

Overall, the method is used to change and improve your muscle tone. In turn, the treatment can correct movement patterns, improve posture, and improve lymphatic circulation. The method is based on the body’s own natural healing process, which simply promotes muscle efficiency and encourages the muscle to react in healthy, beneficial ways.

Let me explain in further detail how the different benefits come about with Kinesio Taping, according to what you seek from the treatment.

The 3 Key Benefits of Kinesio Taping

  1. Provides Support and Stability to the Joints and Muscles to Stop Joint Weakness, Cracking, and Pain: For athletes and sportsmen and women, their muscles and joints are put under a lot of pressure.

Athletes push their bodies to the limit and because of this can be prone to joint and muscle injury. Kinesio Taping can be used as a preventative method to avoid injury and strain for high-impact sports.

For women, due to hormonal changes and our bodies being designed to bare and deliver babies, our joints have and continue to go through changes that can lead to joint laxity and weakness. To name a few problems that may occur in your joints, think of your hips, back and pelvis during pregnancy, Kinesio taping can help stabilize key joints that make you feel better quickly. And consider your neck, shoulders and back as you’ve aged- you may be more prone to headaches at the end of the day or achiness and pain going down into your upper back, shoulders and arms. Kinesio taping can help stabilize your neck, back and shoulders so you do not experience pain.

Fortunately, Kinesio Taping does not affect circulation and your body’s normal range of motion, which makes it ideal for athletes to continue their practice whilst not affecting performance.

  1. Promotes Muscle Efficiency and Detoxification: Kinesio Taping can help to control the muscles, ensuring that they work efficiently and healthily. This again can help sportsmen to prevent injury and enhance their performance. It can also help to prevent over-contraction in long-distance or interval runners and trainers

Whilst the muscles work efficiently, there is a positive impact not only on movement, but also on the healthy flow of lymph and venous fluids.

  1. Reduces Inflammation, Relaxes Muscles and Promotes Recovery: As well as being an effective injury preventive measure, Kinesio taping can help to treat a wide variety of muscle related injuries and conditions. Kinesio Taping can reduce inflammation, help to relax the muscles and as such, helps to promote a healthy recovery from injury. Specifically, Kinesio Taping can help to alleviate conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), knee and shoulder conditions, arthritis, lower back pain and strain, plantar fasciitis, hamstring and groin injuries, pre- and post-surgical edema and also whiplash. The method can also significantly reduce healing time required for sports injuries, as well as speed up the rehabilitation process. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to prove the benefits of Kinesio Taping to the muscles in promoting quick and healthy recovery of injury.

How to Access Kinesio Taping Treatment

Specialist Kinesio Taping Chiropractors have studied and certified with the Kinesio Taping Association. You’ll get the most from the treatment if you access other complimentary chiropractic treatments alongside your Kinesio Taping Treatment. Your body is only as strong and healthy as it is mobile, energized and balanced. A chiropractor frees up stuck motion in your body which helps you feel just this way. A consultation is also important to ensure that Kinesio Taping is the best treatment option for you or to assess the best way to address your goals, symptoms or concerns.

Dr. Nicole Muschett, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Chiropractor, is an accredited Kinesio Taping Chiropractor. She offers a no-obligation free consultation, to get to know you and the problems you are experiencing. Kinesio Taping may help. Just contact us today to find out more.

Do you have any questions about how Kinesio Taping may help you? Our team is happy to help you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Just give us a call or explore our website.