Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Research

Recent research reveals how acupuncture
both locally and distally can improve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. 

What is Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?:

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist.  The carpal tunnel—a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand—houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers.  The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to the index, middle, and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger).   It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb.

Sometimes, thickening from the lining of irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed.  The result may be numbness, weakness, or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist, or occasionally in the forearm and arm.  CTS is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies, in which one of the body’s peripheral nerves is pressed upon.

New research describes how acupuncture may achieve local pain-relieving effects in people with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) while also showing effects of the technique in the brain’s pain centers. (Click here to read more.)

Although this research focuses on using electro-acupuncture, in my clinical experience I continue to find that doing a distal treatment is superior producing a higher level of results more quickly.  However, I have also performed treatments locally and these also allow for excellent results, albeit the local treatment is more painful.



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