Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel, hence it's name.
Symptoms include discomfort, pain, numbness, burning sensation and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the thumb.
Around 1 in 10 people develop carpal tunnel syndrome at some point and affects women more.
Acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome
Acupuncture is very effective at relieving pain and regulating energy and blood flow, which can relieve the symtpoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. From a biomedicine viewpoint, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules.
Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically help in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome by:
- Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain
- Increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties
- Regulating the limbic network of the brain, including the hypothalamus and amygdala
- Inducing beneficial cortical plasticity (i.e. conditioning the brain to stop processing sensory nerve input from the affected fingers maladaptively, which leads to improved symptoms)