Named after the narrow tunnel or tube that passes through the carpal bones in the heel of the hand, carpal tunnel syndrome is an ailment that has two overriding symptom: pain and numbness on the spot where the hand joins the wrist. Pressure on the median nerve increases when the size of the tunnel is reduced generating the trademarks of carpal tunnel syndrome: pain and numbness.
The median nerve lies underneath the tendons that pop up when you turn your palm towards you, make a fist, and squeeze. When this nerve is pinched, you feel pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a work-related condition that’s now very common and quite famous. It is the result of repetitive strain injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) symptoms often arise after you begin a new hobby or new job that makes you use your fingers and wrist in a repetitive fashion. This condition affects women more than men, especially if they’re between the ages of 40 and 70 or if they’re pregnant. The pain can affect the palm, writs, and/or forearm, and can involve one or both arms. When they make the repetitive movements, some CTS sufferers feel a sharp pain; others may feel a constant tingling or numbing in the middle and index finger, thumb, and half of the ring finger. Nighttime is when the symptoms usually get worse, and can get so unbearable that the sufferer has to wake up in order to shake his/ her hands to relieve the discomfort. If you suffer from CTS, you may also have problems with fine motor skills, such as crocheting or writing, and you may find yourself having a hard time holding things from the affected hand.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine signify wind (marked by the shooting or tingling nerve pain), damp (hand and forearm may by achy and heavy), and cold (cold can aggravate the pain), that obstruct the normal unimpeded flow of qi and blood in our arms.
In treating CTS, acupuncturists will try to needle acupoints near the wrist via an in-and-out (needling) technique. The patient may feel a light to mild electrical sensation, which is good because it means the tendons are relaxing causing the pressure to ease up that in turn relieves the numbness and pain. Besides traditional needling acupuncture, magnet therapy, moxibustion, electromagnetic acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and even laser acupuncture can be used to successfully treat the condition.
Apart from getting acupuncture, you should also steer away from activities that can aggravate your wrists. This can include working on an assembly line, long computer work, or prolonged writing with a pen. Your acupuncturist may recommend a nighttime splint if you sleep with your wrists curled up under your pillow or chin to prevent damaging your wrists any further.
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10875 Grandview St #2200
Overland Park, KS 66210