Acupuncture Doesn’t Help Carpal Tunnel (Health Coach's Tips)

Acupuncture Doesnt Help Carpal Tunnel from Find It Health Coaches and Instructors Showing You how Effective It Is

As the head of the wellness coach team at, I aim to provide reliable information regarding the application of acupuncture. Our findings show that acupuncture has not shown promising results in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. 

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist through which the median nerve passes from the forearm into the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the compression of the median nerve in this region.

Our research team at has found that acupuncture does not help significantly with carpal tunnel.  Let’s find out why:

Acupuncture Doesnt Help Carpal Tunnel from Find It Health Coaches and Instructors Showing You how Effective It Is

How Effective Is Acupuncture For Carpal Tunnel?

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As stated earlier, carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by symptoms like numbness, tingling, burning, electric shock-like sensations, and difficulty in gripping. These symptoms usually involve the lateral side of the hand and fingers including the thumb, first, middle, and ring finger while sparing the little finger.

Most of the everyday activities are performed using the affected side of the hand.

Consequently, the ability to perform routine tasks is afflicted. 

The Role of Acupuncture in Carpal Tunnel

Acupuncture is a popular technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can relieve mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome like modest pain, little numbness, and tingling. Moreover, these symptoms are only relieved when the disease is at its initial stages.

As the disease progresses, symptoms worsen leading to burning, loss of sensation, weakness, and inability to hold stuff in your hands. These symptoms are mainly caused due to the compression of the median nerve.

Because acupuncture can play no role in mitigating pressure on the median nerve, it has proved ineffective at this stage of the disease. Sometimes, the alleviation of mild symptoms is only because acupuncture improves the mood. So, it makes the brain think that the body is feeling better. However, acupuncture is also not cost-effective in the clinical course of carpal tunnel syndrome.


Electro-Acupuncture For Carpal Tunnel Treatment

Electro-acupuncture is the process where an electric current is used to stimulate the acupuncture points. Here, an acupuncture needle is first inserted adequately into the acupuncture point of carpal tunnel syndrome, then an electro-machine supplies the current to tissues in that area to help in the treatment of the carpal tunnel.

A 30-minute session of electro-acupuncture is used once or twice per week for a long period. It is said that the effectiveness of electro-acupuncture is the same as that of regular acupuncture.

So, electro-acupuncture might help with minor symptoms of median nerve compression.

However, just like regular acupuncture, acupuncture therapy with electricity has not shown any obvious results in the treatment of carpal tunnel. Several weeks of relying on electro-acupuncture alone might worsen the disease making it difficult to be treated with conservative western medication. In such cases, the only solution left is surgery.


Acupuncture Points For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Acupuncture, while a great option for natural stress management and for natural management of fibroids, is ineffective in the treatment of carpal tunnel.

Following are the acupuncture points advised for carpal tunnel syndrome. But the efficacy of any of these points is unsure.

PC 6:

Acupuncture point p6 lies on the inner side of the wrist about 3 fingers away from the wrist crease at the junction of the muscle tendons.

PC 7:

It lies in the middle of the wrist crease at the junction of the tendon of muscle flexor carpi radialis and palmaris longus.

PC 8:

It also lies at the palm in between the 2nd and 3rd metacarpal bone, specifically the point where the middle finger reaches on closing the fist.

HT 7:

It lies in the transverse wrist crease at the level of the ulnar border of the forearm which is located on the medial side of the midline.

HT 8:

It lies in between the 3rd and 4th metacarpal bone, specifically at the level where the little finger points on closing the fist.

LU 8:

It lies on the lateral side of the wrist crease above the level where the bone of the thumb ends.

LU 9:

It lies just below LU8 in the direction of the thumb and thenar eminence below the wrist crease.

LU 10:

It lies midway on the thumb at the palmar side.


Other Natural Treatments For Carpal Tunnel

Intervention for carpal tunnel begins conservatively with some lifestyle modifications if you only have mild symptoms. In case of severe carpal tunnel, consult your healthcare provider and discuss if you need to be put on steroids. Self-care techniques are the foremost step you can take towards healing.

Taking Breaks from Repetitive Motion

The first and foremost conservative treatment in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome is occupational therapy. Jobs that involve repetitive hand motion or fine motor activities like playing the piano, typing continuously, and performing long surgeries can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. 

In such cases, it is best to take a break from the job and exercise your wrist regularly under professional guidance to help with decreasing the pressure on the median nerve.

Using Wrist Braces

As carpal tunnel results from the frequent movement of the wrist joint, or movement of the wrist in a particular direction, one of the natural solutions is to prevent such action. For example, using wrist braces can help.

These wrist splints grip your wrist, keep it in a relaxing position, and prevent excessive movement. Thus, they can help in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Stretching Exercises

Physical therapy is a great way to lessen the symptoms of carpal tunnel. Gentle stretching exercises that include bending and moving your wrist and hand in a particular direction for several seconds every day can help in relief from pain, weakness, and sudden attacks of the syndrome. Moreover, these exercises stimulate the healing process, improve grip strength, and reduce swelling and soreness in the wrist.

Applying Heat

One of the easiest natural methods of carpal tunnel syndrome treatment that doctors recommend is the application of heat. Usage of heating pads, hot towels, or heated cloth can be used to mitigate the symptoms of acute carpal tunnel syndrome.

Heat increases the blood flow to the tissues, relieves muscle spasms, and restores the functions of the median nerve. It can also help to decrease the inflammation of the wrist. However, it is important to prevent the application of excessive heat to the tissues.

Elevating Your Hands and Wrist

Keeping the hand in a position that increases the drainage of fluid from the wrist can reduce the pressure on the median nerve. So, keeping your hand elevated with an elbow bandage or simply placing it on a high pillow can ease the common symptoms.

Another pathophysiology behind carpal tunnel syndrome is the fluid retention in the carpal tunnel that puts pressure on the median nerve. Conditions like pregnancy and fluid overload can cause this.

Carpal Tunnel Causes

No specific cause of carpal tunnel has been discovered as of yet, but it’s three times more common in women than in men. The following factors may contribute to the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the narrow passage between the carpal bones:

Repetitive Hand Movements

Small movements of the hand at the wrist joint like using a vibrating hand tool, playing a musical instrument, typing, using a computer, grasping a ball, etc. put you at risk for developing carpal tunnel. Frequent use of the wrist joints can lead to degenerative changes in the transverse carpal ligament and nerve compression.

Joint or Bone Disease

Rheumatological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and also musculoskeletal diseases like strains, sprains, fractures, etc. can also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.  

Hormonal or Metabolic Changes

The underlying mechanism is unclear but changes in the level of reproductive hormones in the blood as seen during pregnancy and menopause can cause carpal tunnel in women. Similarly, metabolic changes following thyroid dysfunction and diabetes mellitus may cause obstruction to blood flow leading to muscle spasms and carpal tunnel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our research team at answers the most frequently asked questions from our readers:

Does acupuncture really work for carpal tunnel?

Our research team has found that acupuncture does not relieve the severe pain associated with carpal tunnel. Acupuncture is also ineffective in managing other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome like tingling and weakness.  

What if my carpal tunnel won’t go away?

If your carpal tunnel symptoms persist even after conservative management, your healthcare provider can add steroid injections to your treatment plan. Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery is also an option if there is an indication for surgery.

Rest assured, your carpal tunnel will go away if you follow the treatment plan made by your healthcare provider. To manage the stress that comes with this condition, check out our article on stress management.

What are natural treatments for carpal tunnel?

Some of the natural treatment options available for carpal tunnel include:

  • Complete rest of the affected hand and wrist for a duration of no less than 2 weeks
  • Using a wrist splint or brace 
  • Applying an ice pack on your wrist to reduce the swelling
  • Applying warm compresses to reduce pain
  • Yoga and hand stretching exercises
  • Reiki and Mantra infused crystals. Alternatively, quantum reiki infused crystals

Does carpal tunnel ever fully heal?

Yes, the symptoms of carpal tunnel usually resolve over time. It takes weeks to months, even up to a year, for the pain and the tingling to go away. Once your treatment is complete, carpal tunnel syndrome is unlikely to recur. 


Conclusion – Research by

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People with carpal tunnel are often interested in managing their symptoms conservatively or through alternative health techniques. Acupuncture is one such technique that is routinely advised but our research team has failed to find any substantial evidence in its favor. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Stay tuned for more content.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches