Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome2018-09-11T17:12:51+00:00

ACUPUNCTURE FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Acupuncture in combination with Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and numerous scientific studies confirm its effectiveness.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Case Study

Janet has experienced Carpel Tunnel Syndrome for a period of 8 months. Her symptoms include pain and reduced mobility in her wrists and hands. Janet previously visited a medical doctor who advised her that she would probably require surgery for her Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. For more information on how AcuNatural Health was able to assist Janet in avoiding the need for surgery, click here.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful progressive condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. The bottom and sides of this tunnel are formed by wrist (carpal) bones, which are between the arm bones (ulna and radius) and the metacarpals (bases of the fingers). The top of the tunnel is covered by a strong band of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament, located on the underside or dorsum of the wrist.

What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Usually symptoms include pain, weak hand grip, numbness, a pins-and-needles sensation from the wrist to the thumb, index, middle, or ring finger which appear gradually and worsen over time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can result in near constant pain that often awakens the individual from sleep.

What are the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition – the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. The condition is more common in women than in men and occurs most often in people 30 to 60 years old. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome also commonly effects those engaged in fine motor work and repetitive motion with the hands such as typing or assembly work. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy can play a role, as can medical conditions including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance.

How can Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine help relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Your practitioner will treat the symptom of pain by moving stagnant chi and blood with acupuncture, as well as incorporate stretching exercises and Traditional Chinese Medicine where necessary. The practitioner will aim to decrease the local swelling and inflammation in the carpal tunnel itself, while relaxing the muscles of the forearm. Acupuncture will also address any headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition. Treatment will work to uncover and treat any underlying conditions that contribute to the development of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome including obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes, hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause.

How many sessions of Acupuncture are needed to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a person typically receives bi-weekly acupuncture treatments and often notices an improvement in the first two weeks of treatment. The success of the treatment will greatly depend on the person’s ability to cease or decrease any repetitive motion during the treatment to prevent exacerbation of the condition. This allows the pressure on the median nerve to be eliminated without reintroducing it. In doing so the practitioner will not only be able to treat the symptoms but also target the root cause of the problem.

Scientific Case Studies that support the effectiveness of Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture in combination with Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and numerous scientific studies confirm its effectiveness.

A study in the Clinical Journal of Pain shows acupuncture is as effective as prednisone for the symptoms of the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome including pain, nighttime waking, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Additionally, acupuncture is an excellent option for those intolerant of steroidal therapy, commonly prescribed to treat the syndrome as well. In both patients’ motor function and frequency of pain awakening them at night, the acupuncture group had better results than those receiving steroidal therapy (1).

Another study published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain in 2006, researchers measured the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and discovered a brain pathway by which acupuncture exerts its therapeutic results. The researchers measured brain responses using fMRI technology to measure brain processing related to acupuncture stimuli in relation to neuropathic pain. The controlled study discovered that acupuncture caused greater activation of the hypothalamus and greater deactivation of the amygdala- both important brain centers. The researchers concluded that acupuncture benefits chronic pain sufferers “through a coordinated limbic network including the hypothalamus and amygdala.” (2)

References:

1. Acupuncture in treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial study. Saeid Khosrawi, Alireza Moghtaderi, Shila Haghighat. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, Vol 17, No 1 (2012).

2. PAIN. Volume 130, Issue 3 , Pages 254-266, August 2007. Hypothalamus and amygdala response to acupuncture stimuli in carpal tunnel syndrome. V. Napadow, N. Kettner, J. Liu, M. Li, K.K. Kwong, M. Vangel, N. Makris, J. Audette, K.K.S. Hui. July 2006.

How should I approach Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments

Approach Acupuncture Traditional Chinese Medicine with an open mind and the knowledge that it has the power to open doors Western medicine may not be able to, by working with doctors to deliver the best treatment to you.

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