Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder that affects the hand and wrist. The carpal tunnel is actually a real tunnel formed by the bones and surrounding the tissue of your wrist. This tunnel serves as a protection to your median nerve which innervates your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs because the surrounding tissue in the carpal tunnel is inflamed, the median nerve is irritated and your hand hurts or becomes numb.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Experts suggest that carpal tunnel syndrome typically starts gradually, with an ache in the wrist that can extend to your hand or forearm. You may also experience some of the following symptoms:
- Numbness or tingling in your hand and fingers
- Increased pain when actively using your hand or wrist
- Weakness in your hands and difficulty gripping objects
- Pain in your wrist, palm or forearm
- Increased numbing and/or pain at night
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Repetitive strain injury is a term that is used to describe carpal tunnel syndrome because the syndrome is particularly associated with repetitive hand movements. As well, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by awkward hand positions, vibration, gripping action, and continuous stress in the palm of the hand.
People at risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome include those who make repetitive hand movements such as cashiers, carpenters, computer operators, word processors, gardeners and mechanics.
Prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome involves making adjustments to minimize repetitive work methods; redesigning work stations and tools; educating people on proper body mechanics; and looking at alternative ways to perform the same job without causing undue stress and strain on the employee.
Research has shown that massage therapy can reduce and even slow down the progression of carpal tunnel symptoms. According to a recent study by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida, massage therapy reduced pain, increased grip strength, and reduced carpal tunnel symptoms for participants who all held computer or word-processing jobs (Field et al, 2004).
Massage Therapy and the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) at Everest Therapeutics are trained in the assessment and treatment of the soft tissues of the body. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a Registered Massage Therapist can help you by releasing and stretching your muscles; increasing your range-of-motion; and, help in the prevention of and break down of scar tissue formation.
Everest Therapeutics RMTs see a lot of carpal tunnel syndrome cases. They can provide you with home care advice on the proper use of ice or heat; can show you how to safely perform range-of-motion exercises; can teach you about proper body mechanics and postural awareness; can demonstrate proper stretching; and can help prevent further exacerbation of your condition.
To book an appointment with an RMT click here.