Acupuncture for the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture has been found to have superior effects in comparison to oral steroid treatments as well as night splinting in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) in a recent study. With regards to the oral steroid treatment after a 13 month follow up both patients in the studies control group showed more that a 50% improvement but acupuncture treatment had significantly better improvement on motor nerve function and pain reduction so that patients slept through the night without interruption from pain.  To read the full study by the US National Library of Medicine please see link under references, bottom of page.

What are The Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The first signs that you may be developing carpal tunnel syndrome can be a tingling, like pins and needles and or numbness in your hand, forearm and wrist area.

You may experience waking up at night from pain in the hand and wrist area. Occasional sharp shooting pains that radiate from your hand and wrist up your arm may accompany these symptoms when lifting or gripping an item. Eventually a lack of strength may be associated with Carpal Tunnel and the accidental dropping of objects that you may try to hold on to.

Hands of woman with carpal tunnel syndrome over computer keyboar

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

When the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist a syndrome called carpal tunnel may develop.

Carpal bones on the bottom and side of the wrist form the small tunnel that house important nerves and ligaments that extend to the hand. Specifically the carpal bones form a tunnel that houses the median nerve, which gives you feeling and movement in your hand as well as the finger flexor tendons that bend fingers and the strong band of connective tissue known as the transverse carpal ligament. When a squeezing and compression from inflation, our body’s defense mechanism, narrows the passageway the tendons, median nerve, ligaments and connective tissue become inflamed and sore.

transverse carpal ligament compressed nerve

Repetitive, monotonous use of hands for long periods of time such as computer work or factory assembly could directly contribute to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you can take a break hourly and rest your hands, do slow stretching exercises, move around to give your wrists and hands a break. Sitting up straight and don’t slouch will also help as well as daily yoga or exercise to keep blood flowing to your extremities. Be aware of what you do that causes the pain and try to avoid or lesson those activities. Previous injuries, certain diseases may also cause symptoms.


Acupuncture helps Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture is a holistic approach to avoid future permanent nerve damage and surgery. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective to reduce swelling and

pain and as effective as oral steroids in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. For people who are sensitive to drugs and do not want to risk side effects of drugs acupuncture is a safe and natural alternative. Acupuncture is a natural alternative to pain medication and or steroid treatments especially for those who cannot tolerate steroid treatment.  Acupuncture does not pose the associated health risks or side effects of strong drugs and their daily use to your body.

Acupuncture opens up the meridians or natural pathway connections between nerves and brain, increases blood flow and releases natural pain reducing endorphins. When there is a blockage in our body’s natural defense mechanisms these pathways may become blocked.

As a complementary medicine acupuncture is safe and has proven to aid in healing, pain management and a general feeling of well being. The world health organization endorses acupuncture as well as the US army.

Acupuncture is a natural alternative especially before deciding on surgery for carpal tunnel. Acupuncture can reduce pain and increase mobility. Acupuncture is also adopted as a comprehensive care treatment to consider after surgery to speed up the recovery process.

Reference Study:

Visit US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health Acupuncture in treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial study