Acupuncture is a more effective treatment than ibuprofen at reducing the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, according to a new study from Iran.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition of the wrist and hand caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist. It is often caused by repetitive movements (for instance, using a mouse) or fluid retention. Symptoms include pain, tingling and numbness of the wrist and hand.
In the Iran study, fifty CTS sufferers were divided into 2 groups. Both groups wore wrist splints at night time (as per conventional treatment) and one group also received 8 acupuncture treatments over 4 weeks while the control group received ibuprofen (400mg, three times a day for 10 days)
The participants were tested at a follow up 1 month after the end of treatment. Both groups showed significant improvements, with the acupuncture group performing significantly better in terms of reported improvement of pain, tingling and numbness, as well as waking less often in the night due to pain. Both groups also underwent objective electrodiagnostic testing, which also showed the acupuncture treatment to be significant more effective than the ibuprofen.
In ancient Chinese thought, all kinds of pain and discomfort are said to be caused by a blockage to the flow of blood and/or Qi – as the saying goes – “where there is pain, there is no free flow, where there is free flow, there is no pain.” Acupuncture is extremely effective in promoting circulation and reducing inflammation, and is a very useful treatment for all kinds of pain, as this study shows.
Needless to say, using acupuncture as a treatment instead of ibuprofen also avoids the potential side-effects of medication.
More information about acupuncture treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome here: S.Wales and Bristol Acupuncture