Acupuncture For Carpal Tunnel
Tingling and numbness in your hand and fingers. Weakness in your wrist and difficulty clenching a fist. Painful wrists and hands. Sound familiar? These are a few of the more common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you spend lots of time performing repetitive motion activities with your hands and are suffering from these symptoms, you may be experiencing the early signs of carpal tunnel. Acupuncture for carpal tunnel can help, though. As an integrative healthcare approach, it doesn’t only manage your symptoms, it also helps correct the underlying issues, stress, and inflammation that could be leading to your pain. Here’s how acupuncture for carpal tunnel at The WellBridge Clinic could help you.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there’s pressure anywhere along on the nerve pathways from your neck to your hand. The biggest myth about carpal tunnel is that “there is something wrong with my wrist.” More times than not, the source of the pain isn’t actually in your wrist.
In reality, often the problem comes from poor posture that creates muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. These tight and painful muscles cut off the circulation to the median nerve. The median nerve runs from the inside of your forearm and through a narrow passage (the carpal tunnel) into the wrist. This nerve brings sensation and movement to your hands and fingers.
As you can see, if this nerve is compressed anywhere along its path by muscle tension, inflammation, injury to the wrist, or arthritis, you will begin to notice symptoms. Unfortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome diagnoses are on the rise as we spend more and more time each day typing on our laptops. If your workstation is not ergonomically set up, the resulting inflammation in the median nerve can lead to pain.
Left untreated, these mild symptoms can worsen. In serious cases, you could experience severe pain and may even be unable to move your hand at all. Because of the nature of carpal tunnel, simply taking medications for pain doesn’t help the problem. Even if you relieve your pain, you might still feel numbness, tingling, or weakness from the nerve compression.
Before you get to that point, acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome can help. This is where a comprehensive pain management technique does more than just relieve pain. People get better and stay better, too.
How does acupuncture for carpal tunnel work?
Traditionally, acupuncture for carpal tunnel was thought to open blocked energy channels to allow proper movement of Qi (pronounced “chee”) through the body. This opening makes space in the carpal tunnel to allow the nerve to function properly. Over the last 50 years, science has shown that this idea of “Qi” is actually the body conducting electricity.
With this greater understanding, modern science has identified major benefits from placing hair-thin stainless steel acupuncture pins at specific points in the body. The neuroanatomical theory of acupuncture states that placing these pins at prescribed points activates a neural response in the peripheral nerves, like the median nerve in your wrist.
Acupuncture also increases the level of endorphins and other anti-inflammatory compounds in your cerebrospinal fluid, thus relieving pain and creating a sense of relaxation. This is important as it can help prevent unnecessary carpal tunnel surgeries and prescription medication dependence.
Acupuncture for carpal tunnel is also an essential treatment choice to integrate for patients who are pregnant. The procedure is minimally invasive and comes with no side effects for baby, offering peace of mind (as well as symptom relief!)!
How The WellBridge Clinic helps with acupuncture for carpal tunnel?
If you’ve tried everything to help with your carpal tunnel symptoms, but still haven’t found relief, it may be time to consider acupuncture. We work with many patients who never thought acupuncture could help with their pain, but it does.
Our team at The WellBridge Clinic first considers the full scope of your unique health concerns. There are typically three major stages when acupuncture for carpal tunnel is most beneficial, with treatment regimens varying for each stage. These include:
- Emergency, or relief, phase: This is the acute phase of your injury, when symptoms are strongest, our mission is to get you relief
- Corrective care: In this phase, we use acupuncture to retrain your body to fix the underlying dysfunction
- Maintenance: Think of this as a tune-up for your wrist to maintain ongoing health and symptom reduction
Our goal is to work with our patients to help them heal before the injury or condition becomes catastrophic and requires surgery. We believe in working with your other providers as well to design treatments that are targeted to your overall health and wellness goals.