Acupuncture is Another Solution

For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By Li Hua, L. Ac. TCMD.


Carpal tunnel syndrome became widely known in 1980s. At that time, more personal computer users had complained with this problem. As computers are widely used almost everywhere, more and more people have suffered from it. In clinic, besides personal computers, those whose jobs have been related to carpal tunnel syndrome include assembly line workers, athletes, hairstylists, musicians, restaurant servers, writers, and drivers.

       Carpal tunnel syndrome is a set of symptoms, which happen when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed or injured. The median nerve controls the thumb muscles and sense feeling of the thumb, palm, and the first three fingers of the hand. The carpal tunnel is the small pass way of the median nerve and is located below the surface of the wrist. It is vulnerable.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may be mild numbness, faint tingling, or excruciating pain with a crippling atrophy of the thumb muscles. It is common to get the feeling of burning, tingling like í░pins and needlesí▒, numbness, or weakness. The symptoms may come and go at the beginning, and may be persistent when it is worse, then may spread to the forearm and shoulder when it is severe.

Western medicine found out that it is due to water retention, pressure from bone spurs, inflammatory arthritis, or even tendinitis. There is a high risk of carpal tunnel syndrome among patients with menopause, pregnancy, Raynaudí»s disease, hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus. When you have the symptoms, it is better to see your doctors to get a diagnosis.

To save money and time, you may test yourself first. Place the back of your hands together, with the fingers pointing straight down and the wrists at a 90-degree angle, so that your elbows point straight out to the sides. If holding this position for over a minute brings on symptoms, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Western medicine recommends using splinting, doing physical therapy, taking anti-inflammatory (vitamins), having corticosteroid injections, or surgery.

Traditional Chinese medicine with five thousands years history is new to the western world. Some American people may be not clear why and how to help carpal tunnel syndrome. Traditional Chinese medicine is holistic medicine. It treats symptom as well as the root of the problem. Traditional Chinese medicine thinks that the liver and spleen control the tendon, dominate the muscles and four limbs. It states that the Chi (vital energy) is the power to force blood circulation. It believes that all organs connect and influence each other. Balance is very important. Modern societies speed up many things and meanwhile create more stress that may upset the balance and obstruct the Chi. The four meridians of the three Jiao, the large intestine, the lung and the pericardium are located around the carpal tunnel and connected with the median nerve. According to each individual patientí» condition, other meridians and traditional Chinese medicine therapies may be added. I suggest using Yin exercises, such as, Tai Chi Qi Gong, meditation and Yoga, to slow down the life speed in order to reach the balance, which will help and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.