CTS or Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common injuries related to work and the cause for the highest number of man-hours lost among all work related injuries. This condition has led to more than two million visits to physicians’ offices and about 470,000 carpal tunnel release surgeries each year, making it the most frequent surgical procedure of the wrist and hand.
CTS can be cured with the natural Chinese medicine treatment known as acupuncture. This healing modality helps eliminate the need for corticosteroids or any type of anti-inflammatory drugs. The truth is that one of the most common reasons why people get acupuncture is to resolve repetitive stress injuries, including CTS. New medical studies suggest that acupuncture can be a better alternative treatment than corticosteroids when it comes to addressing carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The part of the body where the carpal tunnel is found is in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow pathway in the wrist made up of bones and ligaments. The tendons and median nerve that connect the muscles of the forearms to the fingers pass through this narrow tunnel.
CTS is also referred to as median nerve entrapment. It arises when the tendons or the median nerve in the carpal tunnel becomes irritated or swells. The palm side of the fingers and thumb and the impulses to certain small muscles in the hand that allow the thumb and fingers to move are all controlled by the median nerve.
CTS symptoms tend to gradually evolve and they include frequent numbness, tingling, or ringing in the fingers and palm of the hand. Oftentimes, the symptoms arise at night. As the symptoms get worse, sufferers might experience numbness, weakness, or pain in the wrist and hand, traveling up the arm during daytime. The strength of the hand’s grip is weakened which may make grasping small objects difficult to do as well as forming a fist, and doing certain manual tasks. CTS can lead to permanent nerve damage and irreversible deterioration of muscle tissue if not properly or promptly treated.
Diagnosing and Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Acupuncture in Cleveland
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, CTS is caused by Wind, Dampness, or Cold entering the sinews and muscles of the wrist and by an interruption in the flow of Blood and Qi along the affected part of the wrist. Treatments for CTS include nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, stretching exercises, and acupuncture.
Besides relieving the pain, inflammation, and swelling in the wrist, acupuncture can treat sleeping problems, shoulder stiffness, neck pain, and headaches that often come with this condition.
The treatment will also include the resolution of any underlying problems that may be contributing to the rise of CTS including, hormonal changes of menopause and pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis and obesity.