Understanding Carpal Tunnel Dysfunction: A Western and Chinese Medical Perspective
(Organ names in Chinese medicine differ from Western medicine's understanding).
Carpal tunnel dysfunction is a common condition that affects many individuals, especially those who perform repetitive hand motions like typing or using hand tools. In Western medicine, the condition is typically diagnosed through physical examination and nerve conduction studies, and treatment options include medication, injections, or surgery. However, in Chinese medicine, carpal tunnel dysfunction is viewed as an imbalance in the flow of Qi and Blood in the TCM-Liver, TCM-Pericardium, and TCM-Lung channels.
According to Chinese medicine, emotional stress, overuse of the hands, and poor posture can contribute to the imbalance in Qi and Blood, leading to carpal tunnel dysfunction. Chinese medicine approaches such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary changes can be used to address the underlying imbalances and support the body's natural healing processes. Chinese Medicine treats the underlying condition through the Cinese Medicine Theory with the aim of providing long term solution to the [ain arising in this condition [4,5,6]
In contrast to Western medicine that focuses on treating the symptoms, Chinese medicine aims to address the root cause of the problem. Acupuncture can help improve Qi and Blood circulation in the affected channels, while herbal medicine can help the body restore balance and alleviate symptoms.
A complementary approach that combines Western and Chinese medicine may provide the best results for managing carpal tunnel dysfunction. In Western medicine, pain relief medication may be used in conjunction with acupuncture to manage pain, while surgery may be necessary in severe cases. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used to address the underlying Qi and Blood imbalances. Such a holistic approach can provide a more comprehensive and effective solution for managing carpal tunnel dysfunction.
It is essential to note that any treatment options, including medication and surgery, should always be discussed with a Western medical doctor before pursuing any course of action. Understanding the condition from both Western and Chinese medical perspectives can provide a more comprehensive and effective solution for managing symptoms and improving overall health.
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Maciocia, G. (2015). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists. Elsevier Health Sciences.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2022, February 28). Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/carpal-tunnel-syndrome-fact-sheet
Yang CP, Hsieh CL, Wang NH, et al. Acupuncture in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2009; 25(4):327-33. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31819b5e8c. PMID: 19454881.
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Liu Z, Liu Y, Xu H, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for carpal tunnel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2019; 2019:8584915. doi: 10.1155/2019/8584915. PMID: 31061769.
The primary objective of Chinese Medicine is to treat the whole person rather than a specific disease or its given name. It is an adjunct to Western medicine, with a distinct focus on identifying the underlying cause within Chinese medical theory and using it's principles in a safe and modern clinical setting.