Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an ailment that affects the wrist. Commonly known as a repetitive stress injury, CTS is a common occupational disease for which workers get work comp benefits. Workers develop it from frequently performing a work function involving their hands. An excellent example is a person whose job involves typing.
Aside from being a common work illness, a person involved in a car accident can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. This happens when there’s severe trauma to the hand or wrist. You can also get CTS in a slip or fall injury where you use your hand to brace yourself. The trauma may injure the ligaments or tendons.
Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome may mistake it for another ailment. They may not even know they developed CTS because of an accident injury until they visit an orthopedic specialist. This article discusses how chiropractors diagnose CTS.
If you develop carpal tunnel syndrome after a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or as a result of work, contact Georgia Injury Centers. We have top orthopedic specialists who can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS is a medical condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the arm. It happens when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — gets squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome worsens over time in most patients. Thus, it is crucial to get an early diagnosis and treatment.
You can avoid early symptoms by wearing a wrist splint or staying away from certain activities. However, if the pressure to the median nerve persists, you may suffer nerve damage, thereby worsening the symptoms. In such a case, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery to fix the damage.
How Chiropractors Diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Physical injuries like broken bones are easy to diagnose and treat. However, CTS is not so easy. This is because it’s similar to soft tissue injuries that do not appear immediately. It builds over time, and you may not know you have it until the symptoms develop.
Some of the common symptoms are:
- Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain
- A shock-like sensation that travels to the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
- Pain and tingling to the whole hand or up to the wrist or forearm toward the shoulder
- Weakness in the hands and clumsiness
So, how do chiropractors diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?
History of Symptoms
Your chiropractor will ask about when the symptoms started and review the history. They might ask you to hold a phone or newspaper or grip a steering wheel. An inability to do this indicates CTS. Note that symptoms like numbness are common at night or early in the morning.
The next thing is a physical examination. The chiropractor will test the feeling in your fingers and the muscle strength in your hands. In addition, they will bend the wrist, tap the nerve, or press it hard to see how you react.
Some physicians use X-rays to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. They do this to rule out fracture or arthritis as the origin of the symptom. However, X-rays are not very effective in diagnosing CTS.
Chiropractors use this test to measure the tiny electrical discharges in the muscles. The chiropractor inserts a thin needle electrode into specific muscles during the test to evaluate the electrical activity when the muscle contracts and rests. Aside from diagnosing CTS, this test determines damage to the muscles controlled by the median nerve. It might also help rule out other conditions.
Nerve Conduction Study
It is a variation of electromyography where the chiropractor tapes two electrodes to your skin. Next, small shocks pass through the body, and your physician will observe if electrical impulses are slowed in the carpal tunnel.
Two-Point Discrimination Test
Chiropractors use this to test if you can tell if two objects touching your skin are at two distinct points instead of one. Your physician may use a gadget called a two-point discriminator. It is a small, flat, and eight-sided tool with needle-like prongs sticking out from all sides. The chiropractor may conduct the test until you feel the pressure point.
Do You Think You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Visit Georgia Injury Centers
Carpal tunnel syndrome is quite painful and can adversely affect your life if left untreated. Thankfully, Georgia Injury Centers have orthopedic specialists who can diagnose and treat you. If your CTS developed because of an accident or from work, we could help you get compensation by recommending an attorney using our reliable referral system. Visit us today for a free initial consultation.