A study published in May 2009 in The Clinical Journal of Pain compared acupuncture to the steroid drug prednisone for treatment of pain in carpal tunnel syndrome. The study concluded that:

“Short-term acupuncture treatment is as effective as short-term low-dose prednisolone for mild-to-moderate CTS. For those who do have an intolerance or contraindication for oral steroid or for those who do not opt for early surgery, acupuncture treatment provides an alternative choice.”

This is a big step forward for a western medical study to recommend acupuncture as aneffective alternative to drug therapy. For the symptoms of night time awakening due to pain and for motor function, the acupuncture group had better results then prednisone. I’ve included an abstract of the article below.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive use injury, commonly caused by excessive computer use (typing on the keyboard). The carpal tunnel is the hole that the (median) nerve travels through, located on the inside of the wrist, where the wrist and hand meet. When the wrist is flexed, the carpal tunnel compresses, and the ligament on the roof of the tunnel presses on the median nerve, causing pain. The median nervecontrols the thumb, index and middle fingers and the thumb (radial) side of the ring finger. Carpal tunnel patients experience pain in those fingers and palm area, not the pinkie finger as the median nerve which travels through the carpal tunnel does not affect the last fingeror the pinky (ulna) side of the palm. (See diagram) Pain can also radiate into the arm.