Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Wrist Pain)

Wrist pain may occur in one or both wrists, and sometimes the area of pain extends to the palms and arms.

According to TCM theory, wrist pain may be caused by invasion of External Wind-Cold, stagnation of Damp-Phlegm in the channels, stagnation of Qi and Blood, or deficiency of Blood. Wrist pain may be attributed to any of the following disorders in Western medicine: rheumatic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve pain, tenosynovitis, ganglion, sprain of the local muscles or tendons, and tendon injury of the wrist joint.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel—a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand—houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to the index, middle, and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger). It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb.

Sometimes, thickening from the lining of irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and compresses the median nerve. The result may be numbness, weakness, or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist (some people may feel pain in the forearm and arm). CTS is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies, in which one of the body’s peripheral nerves is pressed on or squeezed. (from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

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