Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Repetitive Stress Injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Stress Injuries to the hand and wrist are the most common work and sports related injuries. Acupuncture is highly effective in treating these conditions and in some cases can eliminate the need for steroid treatments, anti-inflamatory drugs, or surgery. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons that a person seeks acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture offers relief from pain, improves blood circulation to the hand, and unblocks the affected acupuncture meridians to improve the flow of energy to the affected area.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is constructed of bones and ligaments. Together they form a passageway for the median nerve and several tendons to pass from the forearm into the palm of the hand, through the wrist. Normally the median nerve passes through the tunnel without difficulty providing movement to some muscles of the thumb, index, and middle finger, and delivers touch sensation to the skin of the thumb, palm and fingers. When the transverse carpal ligament becomes inflamed, it can put pressure on the median nerve causing compression. When this happens the median nerve becomes irritated and starts sending out pain, tingling or prickling sensations in the hand and wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the term used to describe chronic nerve compression.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There many causes for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome including diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, hereditary nerve disease, pregnancy, repetitive use of the wrist and stress or trauma to the hand or wrist.
Basically any activity that involves fine motor wok, repetitive hand movements, abnormal finger and wrist postures, pinching-grasping, and use of vibrating tools, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injuries.
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel?
- and loss of strength.
It can lead to other problems such as headaches, neck pain, shoulder stiffness, and sleep disruption.
Activities that contribute to Carpal Tunnel:
- computer keyboarding
- heavy construction
- assembly line work
Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
Acupuncture treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries begins with an assessment of where the energy flow is blocked and an understanding of the root cause of the blockage. The number of treatments depends on many factors, such as how long the symptoms have been present, the severity of pain and injury, how often the patient participates in activities that aggravate symptoms, and overall health issues that contribute to the problem. The good news is that pain relief is almost immediate. Acupuncture in conjunction with other traditional Chinese medicine therapies can safely and effectively treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and repetitive stress injuries.
The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA