Massage Therapy and Bodywork provided by a skilled Licensed Massage Therapist are very effective in treating muscular pain and related problems arising from muscular issues. For example, in my San Antonio, Texas based Massage and Bodywork practice I often treat pain from nerve entrapment syndromes including the well-known Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Like many painful conditions, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome responds quite well to massage therapy and bodywork.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the name of a painful nerve entrapment condition, in which the median nerve is placed under abnormal pressure by the tendons of forearm muscles passing through the carpal tunnel on the palm side of the wrist. When the tendons passing through the carpal tunnel become tight and enlarged, pain results from myofascial trigger points (knots) in the muscles, and pressure on the median nerve. Pain from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is usually found in the palm of the hand on the thumb side. Additionally, there is very often numbness or a pins and needles feeling in palm, thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. Most of the time the symptoms are on one side, usually the dominant hand, but may affect both sides at the same time. Additionally, people with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often have a sense of weakness of grip in the affected hand(s) and symptoms may worsen with continued use.
What is the cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are a number of causes for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome including direct blunt trauma to the wrist itself, and poorly healed breaks of wrist and forearm bones; however, this syndrome is most often caused by overuse and/or repetitive stress of the forearm muscles whose tendons go through the carpal tunnel to the hand. Examples of activities contributing to this syndrome include prolonged use of screw drivers or other hand tools, excessive computer use and typing, detailed work such as needlepoint, and other activities requiring highly repetitive forearm and wrist motions.
Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are many ways that massage therapy and bodywork can be used to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The massage therapist will employ a number of techniques to relieve the condition. For example, the massage therapist may use Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy to eliminate myofascial trigger points in the muscles of the forearm to take tension and pressure off of the tendons in the carpal tunnel. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release adhesions between the forearm muscles and surrounding tissues while also using Muscle Energy Techniques to gently lengthen the forearm muscles. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome also responds well to positional release therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy which work with the body’s nervous system to release muscles and improve joint movement in the wrist and hand area. Lymphatic Drainage Massage techniques might also be used to enhance lymph flow in the wrist area to decrease pressure in the area. Working on the muscles whose tendons go through the carpal tunnel may be enhanced by providing therapy for other muscles opposing them to improve muscular balance. Comprehensive treatment with massage and bodywork, in conjunction with a home program of stretching and exercise, usually helps to completely resolve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Other Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While massage therapy and bodywork are an excellent treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome there are other treatments you should discuss with your physician:
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS)
Other Names for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Chronic Wrist Pain
The information in this article has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. There are a number of serious conditions that are similar Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that could require immediate medical attention.
If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice or contact a Massage Therapist near you.