Can Chiropractors Help With Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), named from the carpal bones in the wrist that
form a tunnel around the nerve leading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by
repetitive and forceful movements that result in swelling around the tendons and pinching of
the median nerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in the hand,
and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTS is a risk to most workers, such as
those who work on the computer and also store and assembly line workers, who receive
micro-traumas to their hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful
and repetitive movements, and stressful activity. [1,2]
The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery, however there are alternative methods of
treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS. Chiropractic treatment
for CTS has been studied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment by Davis et al. 
and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who are intolerant to
ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating with medication.
The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bones in the areas around
the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord lose their ordinary position or motion,
this can cause problems in the wrists or fingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones
can be reset to the correct position and can help to treat CTS.
If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided, and
chiropractic treatment is the leading method of non-surgical treatment. Chiropractic
treatment usually involves various methods , with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound,
and electrical stimulation, including:
By chiropractic manipulation therapy of the elbow and upper spine, where the
joint’s soft tissue undergoes manipulation ;
Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its
treatment of CTS;
Electro-acupuncture treatment; bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting
extension and flexion in the hand, and with compression on the median nerve may encourage recovery
and ease the swelling in the tendons;
Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.
Recent studies, such as that by J. Burke et al (2007), concluded that using
manual therapy intervention such as soft tissue mobilization (STM) has been found to help
improve the signs and symptoms of CTS, with improvements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist
strength and motion.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem, and if left too long
may require surgery. If it’s caught early, then chiropractic treatment is an effective,
drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains caused by CTS, and provide long-term relief from
 P.T. Davis et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 (Jun);21 (5): 317-326
 R.Valente and H. Gibson, J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994;17(4):246–9
 R. Perez de Leon & S. Auyong, J Chiropr Med. 2002 Spring; 1(2): 75–78.
 P.T. Davis and J.R. Hulbert, J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998;21(5):356–62
 J. Burke et al., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 Jan;30(1):50-61. (2007)