By Landon Agoado AP, DOM (Lic. AP1704) – Palm Beach Gardens, Fl – Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that affects a large part of the American population. At our Palm Beach Gardens acupuncture clinic, we have had much success over the years treating this condition. CTS affects the median nerve which runs from the upper parts of the arm all the way to the wrist and hand. The condition is painful and results when the nerve is pinched. It causes numbness, tingling, pain and general discomfort at the affected arm.
CTS can be the result of a number of issues including repetitive hand movements, anomalies with the wrist anatomy or an underlying health issue. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that protects the nerve that travels through the hand and the tendons that enable finger movements. When this nerve is compressed you feel numbness, tingling, pain and weakness, which are the classical symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Patients who experience these symptoms can be treated to full recovery with proper medical attention. After treatment patients are able to use their wrist and hand as normal. Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for the condition.
Western medical treatments for CTS
There are medical interventions that can treat the condition to full or partial recovery. The condition is progressive and treatment needs to commence as soon as any symptoms are noticed. Underlying causes such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis need to be treated before treatment for CTS begins.
Some common treatments which can be used include;
- Chiropractic treatments – chiropractic adjustments to the upper spine, application of cold, rest, and the use of a brace or splint to restrain the area do a lot of good for patients.
- Yoga is also endorsed as an effective way of reducing CTS pain.
- Physical therapy – patients who are recovering from the condition with lessening pain and swelling can benefit from strength workouts and basic stretching exercises.
- Medicine – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and non-prescription pain medicines work well to reduce pain and swelling. Ibuprofen is one of the most commonly used pain killers for CTS pain.
- Surgery is the last resort when it comes to treating CTS and is rarely applied as the condition subsides with consistent treatment, stopping it before it progresss too far.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
According to Chinese medicine, the condition is a result of irregular blood and Qi flow through a specific part of the body. We treat this condition using sterile needles which are painlessly inserted just under the skin at distal and local points along the forearm and wrist.
Treatment also includes stretching exercises, nutritional supplements such as fish oil and B vitamins and herbal medicine. Treatment may go on for about three to four sessions before you can start seeing noticeable changes and lasts for six to eight sessions to reach full recovery and full hand function.
Research backed treatment
Injured peripheral nerves damaged by the symptoms of CTS can be restored using acupuncture. Electromyography, ultrasonic imaging and nerve conductions have confirmed acupuncture to be an effective treatment for CTS by improving electrophysiological peripheral nerve responses and repairing peripheral nerve tissues for patients affected by CTS.
Ding et al (2014) also recorded significant pain relief in clinical observations. The team of researchers confirmed through objective and subjective testing that acupuncture effectively works in the treatment of CTS. Pain relief was examined using a numerical rating scale. The research was published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental medicine.
Are you affected by CTS? We can help. At Palm Beach Gardens Acupuncture, you don’t have to pay for a consultation. Give us a ring and get your treatment today! Our team of licensed acupuncture physicians have the experience and skill in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and we are confident that we can help you find relief.