Chiropractic Care Before Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Chiropractic Care Before Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that happens from the compression or squeezing of the median nerve, which travels from the forearm to the palm within the narrow carpal tunnel. The condition happens to many people for a variety of reasons, but all too often sufferers choose to get surgery to remedy the issue. A better, safer alternative to the surgical route is chiropractic care. Effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, chiropractors offer specific wrist and hand adjusting techniques that can help patients avoid surgery altogether.

Surgery Is Common

For carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery is a common treatment with the goal of severing the transverse carpal ligament to relieve pressure from the compressed median nerve. Surgery either can be a traditional open release or done endoscopically, which is performed from within the carpal tunnel and involves two smaller incisions to release the ligament.

“Surgery may go well,” says Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic, “but it depends on the proper surgical technique. As a patient, it is very difficult to judge whether your surgeon is doing the proper technique or not.”

Although it can be an effective surgery, there are several well-documented risks associated with surgical procedures.

Surgical Side Effects

Several carpal tunnel surgery side effects are common and can cause further issues afterward.

  • Incision pain. This is pain perceived immediately around the incision site. It can be more noticeable with the traditional open-release procedure.
  • Pillar pain. This is pain that happens alongside the incision in the thicker parts of the palm. These areas, called the thenar and hypothenar regions, are where the affected ligament attaches to the wrists' carpal bones. This pain is a common and troublesome postsurgical complication that can last for several months and cause chronic pain patterns in some cases.
  • Iatrogenic injuries. Injuries of this kind occur during surgery; they have nothing to do with the condition undergoing treatment and everything to do with the surgery itself. Because there is a very tiny, confined space for this surgery, especially when done endoscopically, any nerve abrasion or irritation can result in nerve damage.
  • Palmar cutaneous neuroma. Also reported as a common complication following carpal tunnel surgery is the creation of a palmar cutaneous neuroma. This is a thickening of the nerve tissue as a benign growth. It can be very painful and has been described as electrical impulse-like sensations in the palm and fingers that are often worse than the original symptoms. This surgically induced complication often requires a follow-up surgery.

Why Chiropractic Care Is Better

Chiropractors offer effective, nonsurgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, so the best route is to come in for chiropractic hand care before agreeing to surgery. “With our chiropractic adjustments, there is no risk of damage or side effects,” notes Dr. Gross. “By simply mobilizing the carpal bones properly, it restores their normal function, and the pain, numbness, and tingling go away.”

However, what if you’ve already had surgery? Is chiropractic treatment a moot point? Chiropractic care is still a great option even for someone who has already undergone carpal tunnel surgery. Because chiropractic carpal adjusting technique addresses the underlying structural cause of the syndrome, gentle wrist adjustments help regardless of whether surgery already has been performed. Even failed carpal tunnel surgery cases benefit and respond to care.

If a patient is currently scheduled for carpal tunnel surgery, they should make an appointment with a chiropractor for a hand evaluation to see if chiropractic wrist and hand protocols will help. “I would recommend people start with us, even if their surgeon sounds convincing that the procedure is totally safe and common,” says Dr. Gross. With chiropractic care, it’s likely patients can avoid a follow-up surgery or surgery altogether.

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and contemplating surgery, contact us at Quality Care Chiropractic in Aurora, IL, at (630) 499-2225 for a consult and to learn how we can treat you without surgery and get you back to whole-body health.

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