What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel is a syndrome because it has numerous causes and symptom. The term syndrome is used to describe a similar collection of symptoms of unknown cause. In the case of carpel tunnel, some causes have been identified, while others remain unknown.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Some people presenting with carpal tunnel have been determined to have structural conditions which have compressed or impinged on nerves of the wrist, particularly, the median nerve. Common symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling. The location of the pain is in the wrist and the first two and a half fingers. The symptoms are worse at night and patients often have atrophy of the abductor pollicis (a thumb muscle) and loss of strength in the affected hand.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The causes are varied and include virtually any condition that can cause a change in the space between various structure of the wrist. Thus, things such as:
inflammation of tendons,
increase in joint fluids,
and other injuries
While these conditions often involve the wrist itself, the condition causing the structural alteration can be located anywhere along the median nerve pathway from the neck to the tips of the affected fingers. Other less common causes can be vitamin deficiencies, particularly B12 complex. For some patients simply beginning a regimen of vitamin supplementation will eliminate the symptoms.
Common Treatments of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Very often the course of treatment involves reducing the stress or impingement on the nerve. For many patients, physical therapy and exercise will be sufficient. For others, such as those with a repetitive motion disorder, changes may need to be made to the manner in which they move or their activities. For many others, these interventions are not sufficient, and surgery is the only remaining option. Of those who travel this path, there are a certain percentage who find no relief or find that the trauma of surgery makes the condition worse. Before trying this approach, acupuncture is an option which should be considered.
Acupuncture as a Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
For many patients, acupuncture can be an effective solution to carpal tunnel discomfort. Acupuncture works to relieve the impingement or structural alteration giving rise to the symptoms. It is a solution that can be used alone or in combination with physical therapy and exercise, to bring relief from symptoms and provide a long-term non-surgical solution. Before undergoing surgery, consider acupuncture as an alternative treatment.
For more information, call Elizabeth at +1 917-968-2854.