Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common job-related injuries and is responsible for the highest number of days lost among all work-related injuries. It is the reason for over 2 million visits to physicians ‘s offices and approximately 465,000 carpal tunnel release operations each year, making it the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at treating CTS, eliminating the need for surgery or the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, in fact one of the most common reasons that people get acupuncture is for repetitive stress injuries, including CTS.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The CTS is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of ligaments and bones. The median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm pass through this tightly spaced tunnel.

CTS, also known as median nerve entrapment, occurs when swelling or irritation of the nerve or tendons in the carpal tunnel result in pressure on the median nerve.

The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move.

Symptoms usually start gradually with frequent burning, tingling or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers especially thumb, index and middle fingers. The symptoms often first appear during the night. As symptoms worsen people might feel pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist (wrist pain acupuncture), radiating up the arm during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects or perform other manual tasks. If not properly treated, CTS can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of the muscle tissue.

Acupuncture treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

From an oriental medicine perspective, CTS is seen as a disruption of the flow of Vital energy (Qi) and blood within the area and associated with cold, dampness or wind penetrating the muscles and tendons of the wrist. Acupuncture points for carpal tunnel, stretching exercises, are chosen to treat accordingly.

As well as reducing the swelling, inflammation and pain in the wrist, acupuncture addresses any headache, neck pain, shoulder stiffness and sleeping problems that often accompany this condition.

Your carpal tunnel syndrome treatment may also take into account underlying conditions that contribute to the development of CTS including obesity, diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems.