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What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many potential benefits associated with the use of acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome. Though doctors aren't exactly sure how acupuncture works, it is able to relieve swelling and promote circulation in many parts of the body, including the wrists. Scientific studies have shown that this treatment can be as effective as the use of certain medications in carpal tunnel treatment. Patients may experience relief from pain, swelling, and numbness and can see their condition improve over time, potentially eliminating the need for surgery in the future. Acupuncture also doesn't cause side effects and is considered to be a safe treatment.

One of the primary benefits of the use of acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome is that it can effectively relieve the symptoms of the disorder. People with mild or moderate carpal tunnel syndrome often experience pain in the wrist that can interfere with their ability to perform certain tasks. Acupuncture can decrease the amount of swelling in the wrist, eliminating the pain associated with the inflammation of tissue. In many cases, pain may be completely eliminated through acupuncture alone.

Acupuncture can also help improve blood flow in the wrist and hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome frequently causes a feeling of numbness in the fingers or a loss of dexterity and strength in the hands. These symptoms occur as a result of decreased blood flow, which causes the muscles to atrophy and the cells to die. Using acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome can open up the blood vessels and allow the affected wrist and hand to receive the blood it needs to heal and function properly.

Scientific studies have shown that using acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome may be as effective as other treatment options for many patients. Patients who were given acupuncture instead of drugs often reported that their symptoms, including pain, weakness, and numbness had decreased by the same amount as reported by patients given medication. Additionally, patients who received acupuncture treatment reported that they awoke less frequently in the night than patients given drug therapy did.

Steroidal anti-inflammatories are often prescribed for carpal tunnel syndrome because they decrease swelling, eliminating the symptoms of the disorder and giving the wrist time to heal. Though these drugs are effective, they may have side effects and interfere with other medical treatments. Acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome does not cause side effects and can be safely used at the same time as medication if needed.

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