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Can acupuncture help carpal tunnel?

Although a number of studies, such as

 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19590482

 

have shown some interesting and positive results for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, the more recent systematic review

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21093382

 

is not that encouraging. In many cases it is the methodological flaws in the studies themselves which mean that they cannot be taken as solid evidence. Anecdotally the BAcC is aware that some patients benefit considerably from their treatment, but there are just as many for whom the treatment does not appear to work and for whom steroid injections and/or an operation are the only options which offer some help.

 

The best advice, since from a Chinese medicine perspective all cases are unique and different, is to see if you can arrange a short consultation with a practitioner local to you to get their view on whether your particular case may be amenable to treatment. If you did so and opted to go ahead with treatment we would recommend that the outcomes are very clear, as well as the interim review periods. Obstinate conditions, of which this is one, sometimes lend themselves to the development of 'habit treatment' where progress is minimal but hope gets the better of experience.