The carpal tunnel is a small passageway in the wrist that is surrounded by bones called carpal bones, and a connective tissue called a transverse carpal ligament. Because of its narrow size, the carpal tunnel has very little capacity to increase or decrease in size. For this reason, when the tissues swell, they put pressure on the median nerve which runs through the hand.
This kind of condition is very common today, especially among people who use their hands repetitively for extended periods of time. Typing, using the mouse, texting, painting, or even serving in restaurants are among some of the activities that can cause this pain. However, this condition can also have other less direct causes.
The thumb, index, ring, and middle fingers are usually affected by tingling, numbness, and pain which can feel like shocking sensations. This usually wakes people up at night and moving or shaking of the hand can provide relief. The pain can travel up the arm and cause weakness in the hand. Most of the time, the symptoms appear gradually without an injury.
Along with electrical stimulation, the use of local and some distal acupuncture points can help reduce inflammation by bringing circulation to the affected region improving the movement of blood, and body fluid, and enhancing lymphatic function in the area. With the release of endorphin, endomorphin and other pain-relieving substances are released throughout the bloodstream bringing pain relief and mood enhancement. This in turn restores the dexterity of the hand by decreasing pain and numbness. Several studies have proven that acupuncture can be more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs or other regular treatments in relieving the pain of carpal tunnel.