Is your wrist pain REALLY Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)…or is it something else? Here’s what you need to know:
How To Distinguish The Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are 3 main nerves that innervate your forearm and hands: 1. Radial Nerve, 2. Median Nerve, 3. Ulnar Nerve. Many people falsely believe that any tingling and numbness in their hands and fingers automatically means that they have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), but this is not the case. The ONLY nerve that actually passes through the carpal tunnel (a passageway of ligaments and bone at the wrist) is the MEDIAN nerve. Therefore, in order to have true CTS it must be the Median nerve that is being compressed. This can be diagnosed in the clinic by identifying the exact location of the numbness or through a nerve conduction test with a specialist. True CTS will exhibit symptoms on the palmar aspect of the thumb, index and middle fingers and slightly along the inside part of the ring finger. The Median nerve does not innervate the pinky finger, so any numbness in this area means the problem may be due to the ulnar nerve or a completely different condition all together.
Acupuncture works extremely well to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (or any other type of wrist pain). The advantage with acupuncture is that the needle can be inserted directly into the carpal tunnel which will then ‘create space’ and relieve pressure on the median nerve. Cortisone injections and surgery are always a last resort, so it’s better to try and treat CTS with acupuncture and regular stretching and strengthening exercises first.