Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. The injury causes pain and numbness in the index and middle fingers and weakness of the thumb. Carpal tunnel receives its name from the eight bones in the wrist, called carpals, which form a "tunnel" through which the nerve leading to the hand extends.
Signs and symptoms of CTS include:
- Night-time painful tingling in one or both hands, frequently causing sleep disturbance
- Feeling of uselessness in the fingers
- A sense that fingers are swollen even though little or no swelling is apparent
- Daytime tingling in the hands followed by a decreased ability to squeeze things
- Loss of strength in the muscle at the base of the thumb near the palm
- Pain shooting from the hand up the arm as far as the shoulder
Acupuncture can help treat CTS. Studies suggest that acupuncture restores normal nerve function and can provide long-term relief of pain associated with CTS. Acupuncturists treat people with CTS based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians. In the case of CTS, acupuncturists often target the liver, gallbladder, and kidney meridians.