Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve becomes compressed between the carpal ligament and other structures in the carpal tunnel. This compression results in numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. With some people, the entire hand may feel numb. If there is pain present it seems to feel worse at night and it can wake the person up because it is so painful. It is a major disability problem affecting people primarily aged 30-65 and is a common occurrence for those that work at a computer or do any kind of work that requires repetitive movements.
Western medical treatments include splinting the wrist at night in a neutral position, steroid injections, and surgical resection of the transverse carpal ligament. Studies have shown that acupuncture treatment with infrared laser is thought to be as good as surgery and is 1/10th the expense.
Acupuncture can stimulate the production of cortisol – a hormone that helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Acupuncture also stimulates blood flow, reduces swelling, and improves the condition of the tissue in the hand and arms. It is best to seek treatment as soon as possible as acupuncture can work wonders in as little as 1-3 treatments if the carpal tunnel syndrome is caught in its early stages. However, if this is a chronic and long time issue then it is best to do several consistent treatments in a row in order to achieve cumulative and enduring effect.