Carpal Tunnel syndrome is one of the most common wrist issues treated in our clinic. It is estimated that 1 in 40 people have this condition, with over 8 million people diagnosed with carpal tunnel every year. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with carpal tunnel as men. The carpal tunnel is the region of the wrist where the median nerve and the tendons of the finger flexors enter the hand. The tunnel is formed by dense connective tissue and the carpal bones.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel occurs when the tissues of the carpal tunnel become compressed and put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels passing through the tunnel. Pain is typically experienced as nerve pain in the the hand, fingers and in the wrist. Carpal tunnel is often associated with overuse of computer mouses and keyboards. In fact, any repetitive and sustained activity that causes compression of the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are Carpal Tunnel Symptoms?
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome typically affect the wrist and the hand. Nerve pain, numbness, aching or sharp pain are all common symptoms. Due to the nerve compression there may be burning sensations and muscle weakness. Accurate diagnosis will determine if your symptoms are due to carpal tunnel syndrome or something else such as wrist tendonitis.
How Does Acupuncture Help Carpal Tunnel Pain?Your acupuncturist will conduct a complete assessment of your arm, wrist, hand, shoulder and neck. After assessing your range of motion and strength they will perform hands-on orthopedic tests and palpation to differentiate carpal tunnel syndrome from wrist tendonitis or radicular pain coming from the neck.
After accurately determining what is causing your pain your acupuncturist will construct a treatment plan designed specifically for your condition.
Treatment will generally include:
Hands-on techniques to mobilize the bones of the carpal tunnel and free space for the nerve.
Acupuncture through the carpal tunnel to release tight tissue, reduce pain locally and activate weakened and inactive muscles.
Advice and help with correct posture and work ergonomics that reduce the recurrence of pain.
Strengthening and stretching exercises for home care.