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Q: I have been diagnosed with a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome and surgery has been recommended. Would acupuncture cure/relieve my pain so that I don't have to undergo surgery?
If so, how many treatments would I have to undergo before I notice a difference and how many treatments would I need in total? finally, would this be covered by insurance/workman's comp?

A: Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely successful in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Your acupuncturist will have to look at the the specific signs and symptoms of your condition as well as the state of your overall health to determine if Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you. Each case is unique and it would be difficult to determine your Chinese medical diagnosis or treatment plan without a full assessment. Please contact several licensed acupuncturists in your area for a consultation to find the best practitioner for you.

How many treatments you need depends on a few factors:

1) How you respond to acupuncture.
2) How severe the carpal tunnel syndrome is (i.e. scar tissue, nerve damage, etc.)
3) If you are still engaging in the activity that caused the carpal tunnel syndrome.

My patients and I try to come up with the treatment goals and expectations at the first appointment. We then decide on the number of treatments that the patient will commit to to achieve that goal. Most people will commit to 8-24 treatments. This allows us time to gauge the response of the body to acupuncture and reassess the treatment plan if we are not achieving the expected results.

You can find out if your insurance provides acupuncture benefits by calling your insurance company's patient information or benefits line. This number can be found on your insurance card.

More about health insurance coverage for acupuncture treatments:

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