Home / Acupuncture and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition we see and treat often at our Boca Raton clinic. It affects the median nerve running through the arm and ending in the wrist and hand. It is a painful condition caused by this nerve being pinched in your wrist that can cause tingling and numbness, as well pain and discomfort.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a number of things, including repetitive hand movements,  an underlying health issue, as well as anomalies within the anatomy of your wrist. A narrow passageway, called the carpal tunnel, protects a nerve that travels to your hand and the tendons that move fingers. Compression of this nerve produces the pain, tingling, weakness and numbness that comprise carpal tunnel syndrome.

Fortunately for most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome, proper treatment usually can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function. Acupuncture has been proven to be an effective way to treat and reverse this condition.

Western medical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome

Apart from acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, there are western forms of treatment available. Since this condition is progressive, treatments need to begin as soon as possible. If there is an underlying cause such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, then it should be treated first. Only then can treatment begin.

Here are some common forms of treatment…

  • Use of medicine:  Non steroidal anti-inflammation medicines such as ibuprofen and non-prescription pain medicines are effective in relieving the pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy: basic exercises such as stretching and strength workouts are effective especially in patients whose pain and swelling have begun to subside.
  • Treatment by a chiropractor:  some patients have benefited from chiropractic adjustments of the upper spine, with rest, application of cold and use of a splint or brace to immobilize the area .
  • Yoga is also widely recommended as it helps to improves grip and reduces pain.
  • Surgery is another option used to treat this condition but as a last resort. There are various types of surgery such as open release and endoscopic.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine  for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

From the perspective of Chinese medicine, this syndrome is considered a disruption of the flow of blood and Qi through a specific area  as well as an invasion of cold and dampness in the wrist. We can treat this condition effectively by inserting sterile, thin and painless acupuncture needles at local and distal points along the wrist and forearm.

Stretching exercises, use of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements ( such as B vitamins, fish oil ) are all part of an effective acupuncture treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Typically results are evident after a short course of 3-4 treatments and in many cases 6-8 treatments to fully rid the symptoms of this condition.

Backed by research…

Acupuncture heals injured peripheral nerves that are the cause of the symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome. Electromyography, nerve conductions studies, and ultrasonic imaging confirms that acupuncture  improves electrophysiological peripheral nerve responses and repairs peripheral nerve tissues for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

In addition, the researchers (Ding et al.) recorded significant pain relief in clinical observations using a numerical rating scale. Ding et al. conclude that objective and subjective testing demonstrates that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The detailed research was published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.

If you’re suffering with the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome let us help. At Boca Raton Acupuncture consultations are always free. Give us a call today!