Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the likeliest reason why you see someone wearing a wrist splint. The cause of CTS is usually attributed to uncomfortable body positioning for long hours or from poor computer ergonomics.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain around the area throughout the palm side of your forearm, tingling and/or numbness of fingers (except the little finger) and thumb, and weakness of the hand.
The carpal tunnel is the part of the hand where a tube surrounded by ligaments and bones on the palm side of the hand in the wrist region is located. Its size is about the diameter of the thumb, and it channels and hosts the tendons, veins, and the median nerve for finger and hand mobility.
Carpal tunnel syndrome amounts to a tendon damage or a pinched blood vessel or median nerve in the carpal tunnel. It can arise from internal neurological damage or inflammation or by physical forces that compresses the carpal tunnel.
If symptoms similar to CTS dissipate easily and quickly it’s probably not it even if they mimic CTS. Those symptoms may be due to different types of work with hands and arms badly – at least they’re not serious.
Medical intervention can be avoided simply by better general posture, shaking your arms and hands then re-positioning them, or by taking breaks. But you should look for medical help if the symptoms persist after long hours of typing or if you’ve been away from the job after long hours.
Western Modes of Treatment for CTS
Western medicine treatment for CTS uses adjustable splints that you can take off and on as needed. Wearing the splint during sleep is highly suggested. A lot of CTS sufferers wear those splints during work.
NSAIDs (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) which can be prescribed or bought OTC (over the counter) are also recommended to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with CTS. These drugs work to merely ameliorate pain and they come with negative side effects. Occasionally, injections of cortisone are required to lessen the pressure from the median nerve swelling.
If all these treatments are not enough, endoscopic surgery is performed. This type of surgery involves inserting a narrow tube into small incisions and is quite invasive. This procedure sometimes is used for injured knees. As the name implies, open surgery, requires more anesthesia and is highly invasive.
Acupuncture has been utilized for ages for reversing both acute and chronic bad health and for optimizing good health. It boosts the distribution of chi (vital energy) along the body’s energy channels called meridians.
Acupuncture has recently found to be a powerful way for healing maladies caused by sports injuries. A study done recently by an Iranian University and featured in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, January 2012 edition used a randomized controlled trial protocol. The study had 64 participants suffering from a moderate case of CTS. The subjects were divided into three groups. The control group was given no treatment. One group was treated with sham acupuncture plus vitamins B1 and B6 with. A couple of acupuncture treatments each week over a four week period were given another group who also had to wear splints during sleep at night.
As expected, the group treated with real acupuncture and wore splints at night had lower GSS (global symptom scores) reported for numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain and tested better neurologically.
The conductors of the study concluded that acupuncture can boost the overall subjective of carpal tunnel syndrome’s symptoms. They also said that the treatment can be used in the comprehensive care programs of CTS patients.