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This informative post was written by Dr. Navaz Habib. I encourage you to go check out his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you suffer from constant pain, numbness and tingling in your hands. Is that numbness and tingling on the palm side of your hand, extending into the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. If this sounds like the symptoms you have, you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This tunnel is made up of the bones of the wrist (carpal bones) on the bottom and a thick band of fibrous tissue (like a ligament) on the top called the flexor retinaculum. This tunnel or passageway allows tendons, blood vessels and nerves to pass from the forearm to the hand.

 

The median nerve can become compressed within the tunnel for various reasons, but most commonly caused by excess inflammation which causes a build-up of pressure inside the tunnel. Imagine a tunnel that leads from one part of a city to another. If there is a major traffic jam, fewer cars can get from one side to the other. The same thing happens in the carpal tunnel as excess inflammation causes a blockage of blood flow and nerve signalling from the forearm to the hand.

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If the nerves in the hand are not working correctly, it is very common to experience numbness, tingling, weakness and even swelling due to the decreased blood flow.

Conventional Carpal Tunnel Treatments

There are however some treatments that you can do on your own to help decrease the inflammation and reduce the symptoms.

  1. Decrease Inflammatory Foods – eat less sugar and processed food to help decrease the amount of inflammation in your body.
  2. Decrease Repetitive Movements of the Wrist – If you are constantly holding heavy items or lifting items with repetitive motions, take breaks or stop them entirely if possible.
  3. Decrease computer keyboard time – If your symptoms worsen when you are typing on the keyboard of your computer, take more breaks from typing. You can also place a soft object such as a towel or small roll pillow under your forearms to reduce the constant pressure of the keyboard on your wrists.
  4. Acupuressure and Self-Massage Treatment – There are some great treatments that you can perform at home to help alleviate nerve pressure in your hands and fingers.

Acupressure treatment is a form of traditional chinese medicine which has been practiced for thousands of years in asia, but is still quite new to the rest of the world. Traditional chinese medicine states that there is a flow of energy (Qi) within the body that follows certain paths called ‘Meridians’. If the flow of energy is blocked or stagnant within a meridian, then pain and other symptoms can occur. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be thought of as a blockage of energy flow in the wrist, leading to numbness and tingling in the palm and fingers of the hand.

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Commonly traditional chinese medicine treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and its associated symptoms will involve acupuncture, acupressure and Guasha amongst other methods.

Acupressure Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Home

Acupressure involves the use of directed pressure to specific acupuncture points on the surface of the body. There are thousands of acupuncture and acupressure points located throughout the body, each one generally associated with a specific meridian channel which has been given a specific name. Each acupuncture point has a chinese name as well as a ‘common’ name, which is made up of the name of the meridian, and a number.

Please speak to your doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor before beginning any self-treatment for any medical conditions.

Today we will focus on the 4 strongest points for carpal tunnel syndrome.

carpal tunnel 1

Large Intestine 4 (LI-4)

  • Located in the muscle belly between the thumb and the first finger
  • Use the opposite thumb and index or middle finger to perform a slow, sustained pinching motion to the muscle belly in this location
  • While sitting in a comfortable position, hold the pressure gently but firmly for 1-3 minutes
    • You should feel a decrease in hand numbness while applying this pressure
    • This is one of the strongest points in the entire body and is also great for headaches and neck pain
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Large Intestine 5 (LI-5)

  • Located on the lateral side of the wrist slightly backwards (posteriorly) between the base of the thumb and the head of the radius bone
  • Use your opposite thumb, index or middle finger to apply gentle pressure to this area
  • Hold gentle but firm pressure for 1-3 minutes
    • You should feel a decrease in hand numbness while applying this pressure

carpal tunnel 2

Lung-8 (Lu-8)

  • Located on the lateral side of the wrist slightly forwards (anteriorly on the palm side of the hand) between the base of the thumb and the head of the radius bone
  • Use your opposite thumb, index or middle finger to apply gentle pressure to this area
  • Hold gentle but firm pressure for 1-3 minutes
    • You should feel a decrease in hand numbness while applying this pressure

Pericardium 7 (Pc-7)

  • Located in the middle of the palm side of the wrist, at the wrist fold lines between the flexor tendons
  • Use your opposite thumb, index or middle finger to apply gentle pressure to this area
  • Hold gentle but firm pressure for 1-3 minutes
    • You should feel a decrease in hand numbness while applying this pressure

It is recommended that you see a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or acupuncturist for proper assessment and treatment of the condition, and perform these acupressure applications under their supervision.

Image Sources: 

http://www.acunaturalhealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/carpel-tunnel.png

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/–trYJtlEzwc/UGQp4t0SD6I/AAAAAAAAx6E/EJP-0rSS5ug/s1600/Acupressure+Points+of+the+Hand.png

http://www.anythingyoulove.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/acu2.png

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Dr. Navaz Habib
Chiropractor
Dr. Habib is a Chiropractor, Functional Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncture Provider based out of the Greater Toronto Area. He consults with patients world-wide in regards to autoimmune, brain, gut and hormone health conditions. His goal is to find the root cause of the biochemical, physiologic, genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors contributing to his patients symptoms. Virtual consultations are available world-wide and on location in Toronto.
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