Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes

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There are three main nerves in your arm that run from your neck to your hand – the median, ulnar and radial nerves. Acupuncture can reduce the pain and swelling caused by nerve entrapment and it also increases the blood circulation and qi (energy) flowing to the area, allowing your body to heal itself faster.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is due to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist where it passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. A broken wrist or arthritis in the wrist joint can narrow the carpal tunnel space. The median nerve can also be damaged by repetitive flexing of the wrist causing swelling that puts pressure on the nerve. Typing on a keyboard or using a computer mouse while resting your wrist on a hard surface can increase pressure on the nerve.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers that comes and goes to begin with and may be worse at night if you sleep with your wrists bent. Over time you may lost thumb dexterity and start to have difficulty gripping things with your fingers or doing simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt. Pain or tingling may travel up your forearm from your wrist. Acupuncture can help to relieve the pain, tingling and numbness. 

Cubital tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve on the inside of the elbow becomes inflamed, swollen and irritated due to compression or stretching. The cubital tunnel is a narrow tunnel of tissue under the medial epicondyle which is the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. The ulnar nerve is most vulnerable where it goes through the cubital tunnel. When you hit your funny bone and feel a shock-like sensation in your arm, this is the ulnar nerve being pinched on the inside of your elbow. Many people suffering from golfer’s elbow also experience cubital tunnel syndrome. 

Initial symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in your pinky and ring finger that comes and goes. Someone who leans on their elbows a lot with their arms bent may experience this due to the pressure on the nerve. If you sleep with your elbows bent, you may find that your pinky and ring fingers are numb when you wake up because the nerve has been stretched around the bent elbow. The cubital tunnel can also be narrowed by arthritis of the elbow joint or by an injury. Over time these symptoms can become more persistent along with an aching pain on the inside of your elbow and muscle weakness affecting the arm and hand. Acupuncture can help to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.