When people hear about carpal tunnel they think of people that use computers such as secretaries or factory workers who are constantly using their hands. However, even though it is considered a repetitive use injury, it can be trauma induced. Carpal tunnel from a car accident is possible and is referred to as CTS or acute or traumatic.
This type of CTS can be a mild case or so extreme that it becomes debilitating for the patient. In order to prove that CTS was caused by an auto accident a substantial amount of medical records will need to be turned over to insurance companies for them to cover the costs or to even support the case.
What is CTS?
The carpal tunnel is a small space along the wrist that houses the median nerve, blood vessels, and several flexor tendons that run from the forearm to the palm of the hand. CTS is a condition that surfaces from damage to and pressure around the carpal tunnel.
When involved in a car accident, if the forearm, wrist or hand sustain damage and the muscles become inflamed, the median nerve can become compressed which results in CTS. Typically this kind of injury occurs when someone braces themselves in an accident like gripping a steering wheel or placing their hands on the dashboard. With the force of impact, the wrist can become injured and the soft tissues can be damaged.
Symptoms of CTS can include the following:
- Aching pain
- Weakness in the hands
- Reduced grip strength and a tendency to drop things
With CTS, symptoms may not surface right away as this type of condition may take a while to present itself. Some cases however may present right away. Regardless if symptoms present right away or not, it is always best to seek medical attention following an accident to document any injuries that may have occurred and for medical professionals to ensure no other injuries have occurred.
What are the effects of CTS?
CTS symptoms can come and go and even get worse over time Most patients with CTS report that their pain is worse at night and they become restless which can turn into sleep troubles. Numbness in the hand is also another sign as well as the inability to grip objects. If workinging with your hands if your livelihood, having CTS can be stressful. Even simple life skill tasks like brushing your teeth can prove to be difficult.
If you suspect that you are developing CTS, you will want to address your concerns with your chiropractic doctor. Your chiropractor will give you an exam, review your history, and likely order several types of diagnostic tests to see what types of internal damage your wrist may have, as well as to rule out any other conditions.
Each case of CTS is different and with that comes a variety of different treatment options. Some treatment options most physicians begin with are:
- Cold packs
- Wrist splinting
- Kinesio Taping
Physical therapy and acupuncture can also be great tools for those CTS sufferers as well. If you’re looking for relief for your CTS symptoms, contact our Atlanta chiropractors at (404) 889-8828 for a consultation today!