Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is defined as compression of the median nerve. The
median nerve, which is situated in the tunnel within the carpal bones (wrist), provides
sensation to the palm of the hand, thumb, index, middle and ring fingers, but oddly
enough not to the pinky. The nerve is protected by the eight carpal bones and a band
of ligaments. However, when pressure increases in the tunnel, the sensory nerve fibers
within the median nerve, which are quite sensitive to ischemia (deprivation of blood
supply), can cause tingling and numbness in the hand. In more severe cases, when
the motor nerve fibers, also within the median nerve, are compressed, the patient
may develop weakness of the hand.
Repetitive motion seems to be an important culprit in the development of carpal tunnel
syndrome (CTS) because the act of extending and flexing the wrist increases pressure
on the carpal tunnel. However, if you are pregnant, taking birth control pills or
hormones, or if you have diabetes, hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis, the risk
of developing CTS is increased.
Although many patients have undergone surgery to release the compression of the nerve,
the positive long-term results have been minimal, secondary to scar tissue formation
or a recurrence of the condition.
Acupuncture has been shown to be a highly effective adjunct treatment for CTS. Acupuncture
can significantly reduce the pain and inflammation associated with CTS, and positive
long-term results have been documented. This reduction in pain and inflammation allows
for increased mobility and range of motion, as well as a shorter recovery time.
Physical Therapy (PT) also has been shown to be effective in the treatment of CTS
for many reasons. Modalities may be used for pain relief followed by mobilization
of the joints and stretching techniques to decrease the nerve compression. PT is
also useful in patient education of the condition and modification of the workplace
environment to prevent recurrence.
For more information on CTS, or to schedule a FREE consultation, contact our offices
at (386) 615-4800.
How to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) effectively?