Carpal Tunnel and Massage Therapy

What is Carpal Tunnel?

WebMD defines carpal tunnel syndrome as “also being called median nerve compression, a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.” This painful and often stubborn condition is named for the area of the body called the carpal tunnel, which is located in the arm near the inside of the wrist. With that being said, the Median Nerve can be compressed in various regions throughout the body and arm in particular.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is usually tied into an “Overuse” or repetitive strain syndrome. This means that it can be caused by performing the same movement or task repeatedly. For example, working on a computer all day.  There is often a finite point in which the body gets worn down and starts to tell us to stop or we become injured. Usually, the sooner you stop when the body tells you to stop, the easier and quicker the recovery. If you push through pain and dysfunction, it often takes longer to return to a healthy state and again achieve a pain-free lifestyle. Massage therapy can help to decrease the strain from overuse and improve muscles and tendons in order to take tension off the nerves.

Poor posture and a less than adequate ergonomic set-up can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Massage therapy can help to loosen up the tight muscles that pull us into a poor posture, thus compressing the median nerve. Massage therapy can also improve our body awareness, decrease stress and strain, and allow us to keep a better alignment and posture.

Here are a few other tips to help with carpal tunnel syndrome :

  1. Strengthening what we call the “postural muscles.”
  2. Stretching or releasing muscles that are tight or shortened — massage therapy helps with this!
  3. Awareness of what is proper posture and correction of what is not.
  4. Proper ergonomic set-up, a.k.a. your work station.
  5. Lastly, taking breaks from sitting and static postures (meaning, move around a lot!).

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