Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes symptoms of tingling, numbness, weakness and pain in the wrists, hands and fingers.

It occurs when the carpal tunnel inside the wrist swells and puts pressure on one or more nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually starts and progresses gradually and the pain can come and go.

There is often no single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. A combination of risk factors contributes to the development of the condition.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Signs & Symptoms

  • Tingling or numbness of the hand and fingers
  • Weakness of the hand and ability to grip objects
  • Pain in the forearm and hand
  • Disturbed sleep due to pain at night
  • Often associated with muscle tension in the neck, shoulder and arm

What Does The Research Say?

The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific research on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.

Journal of Acupuncture Research

2022, May 31

Electroacupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
Journal of Acupuncture Research Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine Society

Electroacupuncture was reported to have significant treatment results compared with the control group in methods such as total effectiveness, electromyography, and tip pinch strength. However, the quality of the studies (using risk of bias) does not allow reliable conclusions to be made. Many high quality (low risk of bias) randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the efficacy of electroacupuncture treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Park CW, Lim MJ, Lee SW, Yi YH, Song DW, Yu SG, Kim MJ, Oh DY, Choi HJ, Ju AR Full Article

Medical Acupuncture

2022, Feb 01

The Effect of Acupuncture on Hand and Wrist Pain Intensity, Functional Status, and Quality of Life in Adults: A Systematic Review
Medical Acupuncture American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture may be effective and safe for short-term pain reduction and functional improvement in hand-and-wrist conditions. Clinicians should interpret the results with caution due to small sample sizes and clinical heterogeneity. Future research is warranted.

Trinh K, Zhou F, Belski N, Deng J, Wong CY Full Article

Journal of Pharmacopuncture

2021, Dec 31

Effect of Manual Acupuncture for Mild-to-Moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Systematic Review
Journal of Pharmacopuncture

Manual acupuncture can be used for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment without serious adverse effects.

Huh JH, Jeong HI, Kim KH Full Article


2020, May 26

Acupuncture and electroacupuncture in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: Systematic review

Acupuncture and electroacupuncture are a therapeutic option for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome with a medium level of scientific evidence, tending towards a high level, and with a medium level of recommendation.

Badia M, Santafé MM Full Article

Clinical Rehabilitation

2019, Sep 26

Acupuncture and related interventions for carpal tunnel syndrome: systematic review
Clinical Rehabilitation

The study showcase that acupuncture patients found symptom relief and function improvement. Manual acupuncture was also found to be better than ibuprofen for long term relief.

Wu IXY, Lam VCK, Ho RST, Cheung WKW, Sit RWS, Chou LW, Zhang Y, Leung TH, Chung VCH Full Article

Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal

2019, Sep 01

Systematic review of treatment methods for the carpal tunnel syndrome
Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal

The results of treatment comparisons have proved that non-invasive therapies are superior to surgical treatments, taking into consideration symptom improvement, the maximum period up to noticeable results, relapse situations, patients’ preferences, etc.

Glazer C, Pantea C Full Article

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

2017, Mar 1

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Society for Acupuncture Research

Acupuncture is beneficial in some peripheral neuropathies, but more rigorously designed studies using sham-acupuncture control are needed to characterize its effect and optimal use better.

Alexandra Dimitrova, Charles Murchison, and Barry Oken. Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies

2015, Oct

Efficacies of Acupuncture and Anti-inflammatory Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute

The findings indicated that acupuncture significantly improved wrist pain. Patients reported to have a decreased in numbness, better quality sleep and increased in wrist mobility. There is also an overall decreased with intake of painkillers and non-steroidoidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Hadianfard M, Bazrafshan E, Momeninejad H, Jahani N. Full Article


2015, May 8

Effects of Acupuncture on Neuropathic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Neurology American Academy of Neurology

The majority of trials demonstrate a positive effect of acupuncture over control condition in the treatment of neuropathy. Further more rigorously designed studies are needed to better characterize this effect.

Alexandra Dimitrova, Charles Murchison, Barry Oken Full Article

The Journal of Pain

2010, Nov 22

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
The Journal of Pain American Pain Society

The systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrate that acupuncture as a symptomatic therapy for carpel tunnel. In the long run, the patients responded better with acupuncture than steroid block therapy.

Lee, H., Shim, H., Shin, B., Jung, A., Lee, M., & Ernst, E. Full Article

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