Can Acupuncture Help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

By March 19, 2021acupuncture
person sitting front of laptop

These days, many people use their laptops and other devices to conduct their business, especially those that work from home. This can involve dozens of hours of typing while sitting down. 

After working consistently on the computer for days, even weeks, you may start to feel wrist pain or tingling in your fingers. Not everyone thinks of adding wrist support cushions to their desk’s equipment or wearing compression gloves while they work. This can lead to tissues in the carpal tunnel of your wrists becoming swollen.

However, carpal tunnel syndrome can be easily treated if you act on it right away, and get advice and treatment from professionals. While looking for treatment solutions, you may be wondering, “Can acupuncture help carpal tunnel syndrome?”

Dr. Yan of the Southcentre Chinese Acupuncture clinic will provide you with all of the answers you need to restore your health.

 

person-right hand with skin condition

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a neurological disorder. When the narrow passage between bones and ligaments in the wrist are constricted, this causes inflammation of ligaments and tendons. This leads to the constriction of the median nerve (not to be confused with meridian acupuncture points). As a result, the symptoms of carpal tunnel include:

  • Numbness 
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Pain

Not all tingling or numbness in your wrists and hands mean that you’re suffering from CTS. The median nerve is connected to all of your fingers except for the little ones. Therefore, if you experience any discomfort in the smallest fingers, it’s probably not CTS. The symptoms listed above may be a result of an issue in another location, such the compression of a nerve in the neck or muscle spasms in your forearms. When it comes to the human body, everything is connected.

 

woman sitting on white bed

Can CTS Go Away on its Own?

CTS can go away on its own if it’s caught early on and in the mild stage. It will need treatment, such as rest, frequent stretching, or prescription medication. 

There are some tricks you can use to reduce CTS:

  • Lay your arm on pillows when you lie down
  • Use your unaffected hand instead to let your other hand heal
  • Avoid activities that trigger CTS symptoms
  • Ice your wrist or soak it in cold water for 10-15 minutes 1-2 times per hour during your work hours and in warm water for 5-10 minutes by the end of work days, gently flexing and extending them. Do this 3-4 times a day. 
  • Adjust the angle of your laptop and office chair.

Having your wrist in a bent position for extended periods of time is a major cause of CTS. Because so many people have their arms in this position for working on the computer, it’s recommended to get up frequently and stretch your wrists. This break is beneficial for all of your body, from your eyes to your legs and feet. Stretching lubricates your joints and helps you to avoid eye strain.

Moderate and severe CTS may indicate that there is permanent nerve and muscle damage, which will require surgery. To quickly determine if it’s likely that CTS is indeed the issue, put your hands together in prayer and gently press them together. If you experience worse effects, it’s recommended to seek medical attention.

 

How Do I Know if I Have Carpal Tunnel in My Wrist?

A medical professional will conduct various tests to make an official diagnosis. They can do that by way of:

  • A physical exam
  • An x-ray
  • A nerve conduction study
  • Electromyography

Most people do not want to undergo surgery or take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Thankfully, there are alternative ways to reduce the risk of CTS.

 

How Can I Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Naturally?

Acupuncture therapy is one of several ways to treat CTS. It can be combined with other natural solutions, such as yoga and chiropractic therapy.

 

person holding another hand

In a 2017 study, three groups were given acupuncture treatments for their CTS over the course of 8 weeks: 

  • One group had the acupuncture needles administered in an ankle on the opposite side of the affected wrist.
  • One group underwent electro-acupuncture on the affected wrist.
  • One group underwent false acupuncture sessions. 

All three groups were evaluated after the treatments and three months later. The results showed that the two groups who had real acupuncture sessions experienced relief.

Remember: improving your health takes time. With acupuncture treatments, each patient experiences different results, with some feeling results faster than others.

 

What is the Best Treatment for CTS?

It’s always up to the individual to decide if acupuncture in Calgary is the best treatment for their medical issues. When you come to Dr. Yan’s clinic, she will review your medical history, examine the problematic areas, and walk you through the process of how acupuncture can help CTS.  

Book an appointment today!

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