Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief

Written by Julieta Hernandez , Posted in Articles

Carpal-Tunnel-Wrist-Pain-MassageWhat 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.

Julieta Hernandez

Julieta is the owner of Matrix Spa & Massage in Salt Lake City, UT. She and her staff pride themselves on providing the best massages in a truly comfortable and relaxed environment.

Massage Therapy FAQ’s

The law always requires that you be appropriately covered with sheets or towels to keep you comfortable and warm. If you start feeling uncomfortable or exposed, speak up. Your therapist will respect your wishes and work with you to make the massage session a comfortable one.
No, only undress as much as you are comfortable with. Some people prefer undressing completely, while others prefer to keep undergarments on. You'll have privacy in your massage room to undress before the session and redress afterwards.
How often you should get a massage depends on your massage therapy goals. Some people get a monthly massage to manage stress or to prevent health problems. Others opt for weekly sessions if they need relief from injuries and chronic tension.
Licensing and certification mean that the massage therapist can legally practice massage in your city or state. To get this license, they must have performed several hours of training at an accredited school, passed the extensive licensure exam, and have paid any relevant licensing fees.
How much depends on how pleased you are with the service and how much the massage costs (the full price, not any discounted fees). One easy trick is to think about how you would tip a waiter after a similarly priced restaurant meal. This is often 15-20% or more if you received exceptional service.
Let your massage therapist know before the session if there are areas on your body that you don't want touched. They will have the training and experience to give you a therapeutic massage while working around ticklish or sensitive places like your feet or abdomen.
Yes, absolutely. You should always speak up if something is uncomfortable. Secondly, keep the lines of communication open during deep tissue massage or sports injury massages. Your therapist needs the feedback to work on you properly and without aggravating an injury.
On the other hand, if you are looking for relaxation, it's often best not to talk unless necessary. This lets your mind as well as your body release tension. With the right mindful breathing technique, you may even achieve a stress relieving meditative state during the massage.
Most likely, unless your doctor says otherwise. Prenatal massage can reduce and relieve common pregnancy issues like lower and upper back pain, sciatic nerve irritation, swelling, tension headaches, heartburn and constipation, and more. Let your massage therapist know that you're pregnant so they can use the right techniques during the session.
If you’re used to Swedish massages, it’s definitely going to feel a little rougher. However, you should always communicate with your massage therapist if the pressure is too much. If you’re tensing up and muscle guarding during a deep tissue massage, the benefits of the massage may be lessened.
It’s important to be realistic about what one deep tissue massage can achieve. Many people want just one session to get rid of all the tension they’ve built up in their body over decades. They ask for more pressure, thinking that if the therapist just pushes hard enough, all their knots will go away after an hour. They won’t. It’s going to take a few sessions for the best results, based on your body and lifestyle, and increasing the pressure a masseuse uses doesn’t necessarily help. Your problems likely amassed over a lifetime of strain, stress and poor posture. If you have chronic problems, it will probably take a combination of massage, exercise and relaxation techniques to stem the problem.

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