Carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine link–from an alternative medicine viewpoint

Carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine link--from an alternative medicine viewpoint
Carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine link--from an alternative medicine viewpoint

According to recent findings reported in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open®, a group of researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, led by Dr. Huay-Zong Law, has discovered a likely correlation between cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a common form of repetitive stress injury, plagues countless people, often resulting in crippling pain and loss of use of the patient’s hand (or even both hands in many cases). It usually comes from over-use of the wrist joint, in work performed requiring gripping of small tools or other objects, and performing the same motions repetitively. Jobs wherein the wrist is used in such a way for long hours, on a daily basis, can result in pressure on the nerves inside the wrist. This causes excruciating pain and numbness, even afflicting the patient in his or her sleep. Surgery is often used as a means of relieving the pressure on the nerves in that area. Occupational therapy both before and after surgery is frequently of benefit. If caught early, and the worker is able to change to other duties or another type of employment, therapy can sometimes be enough to correct the problem.

Migraines, on the other hand, do not seem to have any respect for the type of job one performs. Although they can be triggered by exposure to substances such as chocolate, red wine, cheese, or allergens, sufferers of this severe type of headache may be found in all career areas. Treatment usually consists of medication, in the allopathic field.

Now, according to Dr. Law and his colleagues, these two conditions very well may have some connection. With thirty-four per cent of respondents to a survey indicating they suffer from both migraines and CTS, the team found through their studies that the odds of having migraines along with the wrist problem are 2.6 times higher than the average population. Turning it around, migraine victims were found to be 2.7 times more likely to also have CTS.

To the conventional medical field, this may seem astounding. Not so to those who are familiar with other methods of healing, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine. The studies of acupressure and acupuncture, based on the body’s meridians, through which the life energy or “chi” flows, are able to explain the relationship between the various parts of the body. Along these meridians are points that are used by practitioners of such healing arts. When the wrist, as in this case, is afflicted by an injury that compresses the nerves within, therefore, it makes sense that other bodily parts along the same meridian will also suffer some problem.

In the Bridge Channel, for instance, the meridians travel up the back of the body and down the front, carrying energy along their paths. Without going into painstaking detail, there are a variety of points along such a channel that may be used by a practitioner of acupressure or acupuncture, as well as other healing modalities, in order to bring relief for headaches including migraines. As well, a specific point on the wrist can help, via the means available already described, as part of the measures taken to achieve relief of the headache.

Other wrist points, as well, can be effective in controlling the pain and disability of the wrist. With other problems related to headaches of any kind such as neck and upper back problems, these points as well as numerous others throughout the body are able to help sufferers to find alleviation of their pain and associated difficulties.

The study of such ancient arts as acupressure and acupuncture may just be taken more seriously by the allopathic world in light of this research group’s discoveries. As for those already practicing such alternate fields, the information has been there all along.


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