Have You Tried Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
All you need to do is type “acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome” in a search engine and the evidence of its efficacy is plentiful. A recent Massachusetts General Hospital study tested the effectiveness of acupuncture for carpal tunnel and concluded that:
“Real acupuncture at the affected hand led to measurable improvements in outcomes both at the affected wrist and in the brain, while acupuncture at the opposite ankle produced improvement at the wrist only. Brain remapping immediately after real acupuncture was linked to long-term improvement in CTS symptoms. No physiologic improvements resulted from sham acupuncture.”
Carpal tunnel is common (wait until I tell you how common) but most people aren’t aware of how effective acupuncture is at treating it. But I say, it’s high time to spread the word!
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by entrapment of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist to the palm of the hand. Entrapment occurs from inflammation of the wrist due to repetitive use activities, edema, rheumatoid arthritis, underactive thyroid, diabetes and wrist injuries.
Due to fluid retention and swelling, carpal tunnel can also be a temporary side effect of pregnancy, affecting up to 60% of pregnant women. Sometimes carpal tunnel can be caused by impingement at the cervical spine, but this is rare.
I was blown away by this factoid I found. According to BRAIN, A Journal of Neuropathy, carpal tunnel accounts for 90% of entrapment conditions and accounts for the highest number of days lost among all work-related injuries. Holy cow! That’s a lot of carpal tunnel patients. Where are you guys? Hello, I can help you!!
Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel
Acupuncture for carpal tunnel works extremely well to relieve pain and symptoms. Plus, it’s non-invasive and safe for almost everyone, including pregnant women and those taking medications for other conditions.
Typically, entrapment of the median nerve also leads to pain in the elbow, shoulder and neck. Since I’ve not met a person who did not have some degree of neck and should tension, I always treat the neck area when treating carpal tunnel to relieve any neck and shoulder issues and to remove any blockages of blood and energy to the arm and wrist.
In addition to pain and numbness, carpal tunnel may also cause a “blurring” of nerve impulses, whereby touch signals from individual fingers start to respond to signals from multiple fingers. This indicates that changes in the peripheral nerves are making changes in the sensory area of the brain. And this is where my training in Neuro-acupuncture can be especially helpful.
If your carpal tunnel is affecting sensory perception, it’s time to untangle the signaling in your brain so when you touch something with one finger, your brain gets the right message. Sounds like a good thing, right? And Neuro-acupuncture helps repair damaged nerves from prolonged carpal tunnel pressure or from surgery.
If you’ve steered clear of acupuncture because you’re leery of needles, I can guarantee you that your carpal tunnel hurts much more than my needles! I can say that confidently because I’ve experienced both. Also keep in mind that acupuncture is much safer than surgery, which doesn’t always work and more often leaves you with residual nerve damage, either from the carpal tunnel or the surgery. Of course, surgery is very useful and sometimes the only answer, but why not try a non-invasive treatment first? I will happily tell you if I can’t help you.
Before you resort to surgery, and before your inflammation gets so bad it causes severe damage to the peripheral nerves in your hand, please go see an acupuncturist (preferably me, I love treating carpal tunnel!) and get some help right away. My consultations are always complimentary – or schedule your appoint online today.