Can Acupuncture Help Wrist Tendonitis?

By July 12, 2021uncategorized
person administering acupuncture needle into patient’s hand

We’re so busy during the day that we sometimes take our body for granted. 

You know how it is, we might pick up a heavy object too fast or push ourselves too far in our exercise regime. Other times we might accidentally spend too much time doing repetitive motions, such as typing. 

Without giving our body a break or taking proper care, these actions can lead to inflammation of a tendon in the wrist. Luckily, Southcentre Chinese Acupuncture has the answers you need to help you better understand wrist tendonitis, and most importantly, find relief!

 

person massaging someone’s hand

What is Wrist Tendonitis?

A tendon attaches a muscle to a bone and is a cord made of strong fibrous collagen. In the hand, wrist, and forearm area, tendons allow the muscles to move, such as turning the wrist from side-to-side and flexing. 

Tendonitis, also sometimes spelled tendinitis, is when microscopic tears occur in the tendon from overuse and cause inflammation.

Symptoms of tendonitis: 

  • Soft tissue pain and/or tenderness at or near a joint
  • Swelling 
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Stiffness 

Most people lead an active life, so joints that are frequently affected by tendonitis are the shoulder; the wrist and hand, the elbow (sometimes called tennis elbow), the knee (sometimes called jumper’s knee) and the heel, which can occur with Achilles tendonitis. 

The cause of tendonitis is often unknown, but it’s most likely one of the following:

  • Repeated trauma
  • Excessive strain
  • Overuse

Tendonitis can occur when a person does irregular exercises or jumps into a strenuous activity without warming up. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), repetitive strain and injury cause local qi and blood congestion in the meridians.

 

Local Qi and Blood stagnation

Acupuncture is one of many natural practices in TCM that brings about wellness. 

Practitioners of TCM believe that Qi, which translates roughly to life-energy, flows through the body’s electrical nerve pathways, which are referred to as meridians. Disease and pain cause a blockage in the Qi and blood circulation, so practitioners insert acupuncture needles into designated acupuncture points to dislodge the blockage and encourage blood flow, one of the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for wrist tendonitis. By targeting muscle inhibition, the treatment can retrain the body’s mechanics using muscle recruitment. Muscle recruitment is the number of fibers engaged by a nerve during a muscle contraction. The order in which the acupuncturist recruits improves the quality and efficiency of the muscle’s movement.

For example, the quadriceps are a powerful muscle group compared to hand and eye muscles because they need to move more forcibly. Hand and eye muscles exhibit a more refined muscle contraction. Therefore, the quadriceps have a higher ratio of muscle fibers to motor neurons than hand and eye muscles.

In muscle recruitment patterns, smaller muscles need to be recruited first because they produce a low amount of force and, as a result, have a high tolerance to fatigue. 

 

The Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

With the use of Chinese herbs and wellness practices, including acupuncture, TCM is an excellent alternative to drug therapy and surgery. TCM has been developed and practiced for over 2,000 years, so there are some excellent Chinese herbs that can reduce inflammation. 

 

Herbal Remedy for Tendonitis

Willow bark (Salix alba) is called liu shu pi in TCM. It contains salicin, which is a compound used to make aspirin. When metabolized by the body, it creates salicylic acid. The herbal extract of willow bark is commonly used in Chinese medicine to soothe pain, inflammation and fever. Willow bark is said to safely treat a plethora of pain disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and headaches. 

The use of natural medicines has increased the popularity of willow bark as a pain and tenderness remedy, where people are choosing it over nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin and brand names like Advil and Aleve.

 

Note: People under 18 years of age and who are allergic to aspirin and salicylates should not take willow products. People should not take white willow if they are taking aspirin or blood-thinning medications.

 

Always speak with a medical professional before trying a new pain relief and inflammation solution.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Acupuncture can help to ease the effects of CTS. People can experience various symptoms, such as numbness, pain, weakness, or tingling, in the wrist area when there is inflammation of ligaments and tendons. However, the cause may be somewhere else in the body, such as the neck. 

Can acupuncture help carpal tunnel syndrome? Yes, it can!

Speak with Dr. Yan at the Southcentre Chinese acupuncture clinic for more on how you can benefit from acupuncture treatments. 

 

man picking up weights

Book an Acupuncture Therapy Session Today

Get back to doing the things you enjoy, whether it’s working out, gardening, or spending time with your loved ones. If you’re suffering from tennis elbow or looking for pain relief, Dr. Yan can help. She will assess your medical history and needs to design an effective acupuncture program.

 

Contact us today to book an appointment!

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