What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the inflammation or entrapment of nerves within the carpal tunnel of the wrist, which can cause pain and numbness. The carpal tunnel contains the median nerve and a number of muscle tendons. The nerve controls both feeling and control of your thumb and all of your fingers except for your little finger. The pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve, sometimes by fluid buildup or other conditions that can cause the carpal tunnel to decrease in size, such as swelling.
Some of the causes of carpal tunnel include:
- Certain illnesses, including hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes.
- Making repetitive motions with your wrist, such as what happens when you operate a computer mouse. This is generally worse if you bend your wrist in such a way that your fingers are lower than your wrist.
- As a complication of pregnancy.
People with carpal tunnel syndrome often feel numbness or pain in the wrist as well as the hand and forearm. The pain can also be made worse if patients use the afflicted hand or wrist to grasp an object or bend the wrist. Sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome only presents itself as numbness or tingling. If you develop pain in all of your fingers except the little finger, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Only a visit to the doctor will help you find out for sure.
Massage for Carpal Tunnel
Your health care provider will often prescribe medication and possibly even surgery to deal with your carpal tunnel pain. Sometimes these approaches are the best way to deal with the condition, especially if the median nerve has been damaged. Before undergoing surgery, a person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome may consider massage therapy. Massage therapy does not involve the use of powerful pain medications and, unlike surgery, is not invasive.
Every case of carpal tunnel is different, and therefore, so is the massage therapy approach used to deal with the condition. Generally, a massage therapist will work on the wrist, forearm to alleviate the pain and stiffness associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Massage sessions may be scheduled more or less frequently, depending on the severity of the condition.
According to Carrington College, there are a number of stretching exercising and techniques you can do between massage therapy sessions to help alleviate pain associated with carpal tunnel. You hold out the afflicted arm, then point the hand down, fingers pointed toward the floor. Then you use the other hand to press down on the back of the bent hand to stretch the forearm muscles, holding for between 15 and 20 seconds. Then you turn the afflicted hand palm up, using the other hand to gently move the fingers back. Repeat the stretching exercise on the other side of the hand. You should do this exercise for a few minutes every day between massage therapy sessions to help alleviate the pain and to keep the muscles and joints flexible.
Even if you are not suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, if you are a heavy computer user, massage therapy and the stretching exercises may be an excellent way to prevent you from getting the condition.
Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel in Salt Lake City, UT
If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, let the therapists at Matrix Spa & Massage help ease the pain. We have one goal in mind: To relieve stress from all of our clients, tailoring our techniques to each person’s individual needs. Contact us today for more information.