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« Back to Musculoskeletal Questions

Q: I have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and surgery is being discussed as the next step. Are there other alternatives?
My wife has osteoarthritis. Is there something to help her also?

A: Yes. Both of these conditions fall into the category of repetitive strain injury, a generic term encompassing many cumulative trauma disorders. Damage may occur to muscles, joints, nerves, tendons, tendon sheaths, and ligaments particularly in the hand, arm, neck, and shoulder. Other conditions resulting from repetitive strain injury are tenosynovitis, tendinitis of the shoulder or forearm, myofascial damage, cervical radiculopathy, epicondylitis, ganglion cysts, ulnar nerve disorder, thoracic outlet syndrome and fibromyalgia.

In a study of acupuncture treatment of CTS, a positive result was demonstrated in 35 of 36 patients, 14 of whom had been unsuccessfully treated with surgery. Another study indicated that the pain of osteoarthritis of the knee was significantly reduced by acupuncture, with improved flexibility and walking ability. Acupuncture stimulates the creation of beta-endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers.

About the Author:

Jane McKee, MAcOM, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist in Tigard, Oregon. 

To learn more about Jane McKee or the Meridian Acupuncture Clinic, please visit