Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition attributed to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. The most common cause is repetitive hand motions, but this condition can be related to a number of different health factors. Symptoms include numbness, weakness and pain of the fingers, hand and arm. Acupuncture has been proven in numerous high quality empirical studies to successfully alleviate pain, inflammation and numbness, and to restore motor dexterity.
Acupuncture is proven effective
One randomized controlled trial conducted in 2012 compared real acupuncture with 'sham' acupuncture in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Both the control group and the intervention group also wore wrist splints at night for the duration of the study. Results showed that participants in the acupuncture group had significantly better relief of symptoms at the end of four weeks, as measured by the global symptom score. Researchers concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for CTS, and recommend that it be adopted as part of a comprehensive care program.
Another study in 2014 looked at the physiological effects of acupuncture on CTS. Researchers found that acupuncture significantly improved grip strength in patients, as well as electrophysiological function. Specifically, they found a significant increase in the median motor amplitude of the palm-wrist segment after acupuncture treatment. Additionally, Tinel's sign (a measure of nerve irritation) significantly decreased in participants on the major symptomatic side.
Another study conducted in 2014 looked at the effects of acupuncture and moxibustion on CTS. Participants were divided into three groups, one of which received acupuncture alone, one of which received moxibustion alone, and the third of which received both acupuncture and moxibustion. Results showed significant improvement in the numerical rating scale (NRS) pain score, global symptom score, electrophysiological function, and anatomical-related indicators after all treatment types. The best results were achieved in the combined acupuncture and moxibustion group. Researchers concluded that acupuncture and moxibustion can effectively improve peripheral nerve electrophysiological function in those who suffer from CTS.
Let's look at one last study. A study conducted in 2017 compared real acupuncture with sham acupuncture, and then mapped the neurophysiological changes in the somatosensory cortex in each group of participants. Results showed that all groups experienced some relief after needle treatments, but the most significant relief was experienced by the groups that received real acupuncture. Further, it was found that that improvements in the real acupuncture groups were sustained for three months after treatment was concluded. Additionally, researchers noted that after real acupuncture (but not sham acupuncture), there were noticeable changes in the somatosensory cortex. Patients who experienced real acupuncture treatment showed somatotopically distinct neuroplasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex following treatments.
To learn more about acupuncture and how it works, take a look at About Acupuncture or How Acupuncture Works. To learn more about the differences between Eastern and Western medicine, you can read About Eastern Medicine. To learn more about the Wisdom Traditions Acupuncture clinic, read About Us or Our Philosophy. If you have any additional questions, you can browse our FAQ or Contact Us. We're happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also Schedule an Appointment online.
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