Acupuncture – The wrist and hand

Needling sites:

Lower end of radius
Neck of metacarpals
Small bones of wrist
Interosseus spaces

Pain in the wrist can often be helped by periosteal needling over the lower end of the radius. The results are good. Some patients have very localized pain in the wrist which is referred from TPs in the extensor muscles of the forearm; this is especially common in people who use their hands for repetitive tasks like typing.

The classic acupuncture point PC 6 on the front of the wrist has been used to treat nausea and vomiting in several published trials, with good results. Not all doctors working in cancer relief have found it so effective for chemotherapy-induced vomiting, but in some patients with other types of vomiting it does have a dramatic effect. Local pressure over the point can also be used, for example in the vomiting of pregnancy.

The fingers are best treated by needling the interossei, inserting the needle either between the heads of the metacarpals or through the dorsum of the hand. This works well for osteoarthritis of the fingers. Pain at the base of the thumb is rather less easy to help, but may respond either to periosteal needling locally or to treatment of TPs in the forearm.

Occasionally patients may complain of weakness of the hands for which there is no obvious neurological explanation. Such people may have tender areas in the flexor muscles of the forearm and needling these can be effective.

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