What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Well to start with, carpals are the bones in your wrist and there is a tunnel in your wrist where the median nerve runs from your arm to your hand. If the tunnel narrows due to swelling, muscle tightness or misalignment (like a wrist fracture) the nerve becomes squeezed. This leads to the numbness, burning sensation, tingling or weakness symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
How do you know if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? There is a fairly simple test your doctor can perform to help determine weather or not you have it called Tinnels. No needles, no big machine capsules to lie in, just a tap of the wrist.
So now the big question is can massage therapy help alleviate the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? You betcha, or else it would not be a topic on this blog. Massage therapy can relieve the muscle tightness and swelling that aggravates Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One way massage can help is to loosen the flexors and extensors in the forearm. Also, the body sometimes winds inward at the wrist up the arm into the shoulders, neck and chest due to poor posture or frequent misuse. This can add to the cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Massage with the intention to unwind all of that works wonders.
Stretching the effected muscles can also help. Ask your massage therapist or doctor for some stretching suggestions.
Some people have found wearing a wrist brace a night while they sleep can help with their symptoms. The brace keeps you from curving your wrist inward and pinching off that median nerve. Some folks find it helpful to wear a brace while at the computer to keep the wrist supported. Make sure your wrists are nice and straight when you are at your computer.
Strengthening the wrist can make a big difference. Rotating your wrist both directions 10 times every hour and/or squeezing some silly puddy or a rubber ball is a quick way to get the job done.
Last but not least, there is icing. Icing will help decrease the swelling. You can ice your wrist for up to 10 minutes with an hour in between icing. The more often you ice the better. For a detailed post on icing injuries click here.
If you have any questions about massage or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment section. Thank you for reading, PJ Harris, LMP. http://www.pjharris.com/