Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Can Massage Therapy Help Relieve Pain From Carpal Tunnel?
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain, tingling, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your hand through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This pressure can come from swelling or anything that makes the carpal tunnel smaller.
Things that may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Smoking, because it reduces blood flow to the median nerve
- Wrist injuries and bone spurs
- Illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism
- Repetitive hand movements, especially if the hand is in the downward position
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand. Some people may have pain in the arm between the hand and the elbow. Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
Mild symptoms usually can be treated with home care and massage therapy. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of stopping symptoms and preventing long-term damage to the nerve.
Here are a few things you can do to help wrist and hand pain:
- Ice your wrist and hands in a bucket of ice water 10 minutes in- 10 minutes out, repeat 3x once per day.
- STOP activities that cause numbness and pain.
- Wear a splint at night to keep wrist in a neutral position; this takes pressure off the median nerve.
- When you type, keep your wrists straight with your hands a little higher than the wrist.
- Use your entire hand, not just your fingers to hold objects.
- Get your arms and hands massaged; ask your significant other, friend, or go see a licensed massage therapist.
See your doctor if your symptoms don’t get better after 3-4 weeks of home care or if you have severe symptoms from the start.
IMR, LLC offers a customized carpal tunnel syndrome treatment that incorporates deep tissue massage, medical massage, and cupping therapy. This 60 minute treatment focuses on forearms, hands, and fingers to relieve pain and increase blood flow to the median nerve.