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Carpal Tunnel Relief in a Cup

Last Updated: July 10, 2009.

Healing method used around the world eases pain in small study.

FRIDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- An external suction technique called cupping helps relieve pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a German study.

Cupping, a healing method used in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and parts of Africa, appears to help relieve carpal tunnel symptoms by increasing microcirculation, according to researchers at Immanuel Hospital Berlin.

The study involved 52 people with carpal tunnel. Part of the group had special glass cups applied to the skin in the shoulder-neck area after 5 to 10 skin punctures with a sterile lancet. A partial vacuum was created using electromechanical or manual suction within the cupping glass after it was applied to the skin.

Those treated with cupping experienced a significant decrease in carpal tunnel syndrome-related pain and other symptoms, compared with the others, the study reported. One treatment improved functional ability and quality of life for a week, and people tolerated treatments very well, according to the study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Pain.

The researchers said that further studies are needed to assess the long-term value of cupping for treatment of pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome .

More information

The American College of Rheumatology has more about carpal tunnel syndrome.

SOURCE: American Pain Society, news release, June 2009

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