Posted by: lifeinlonsdale | December 5, 2009

Massage May Help Those with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Avoid Surgery

This is where you would feel numbness if you had carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel has become a very common condition (more so than 20 years ago, as we spend a lot more time on the computer now at our jobs, often in positions that are not ergonomically friendly.)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome happens when the median nerve becomes compressed as it travels through the Carpal Tunnel (a bracelet of connective tissue on the inside of your wrist). There are a number of tendons that also run through this tunnel, making it a relatively tight space. It is when these tendons become inflamed that the median nerve becomes compressed.

Inflammation of these tendons can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common is a repetitive strain injury that happens as a result of working in a job that involves extensive computer work, or working at a repetitive job in a factory.

In addition, carpal tunnel syndrome can easily be mis-diagnosed (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can cause the same pattern of numbness and tingling in the wrists and hands.)

In my experience, massage therapy can be an effective tool in relieving carpal tunnel symptoms and can help you to avoid a surgery that at best is painful and long to recover from, and at the worst can be completely ineffective in relieving symptoms.

Relieving trigger points in the forearm and lengthening the muscles and tendons that run through the carpal tunnel can help to relieve symptoms. In particular, the style of massage that I do with hot and cold stones can give the additional benefit of increasing the circulation as well as helping to relieve additional inflammation in the carpal tunnel.

I can also show you simple stretching and massage exercises that you can do for yourself in the morning and before bed that can drastically improve symptoms.

In a study done by the Touch Research institute, participants that received massage for their carpal tunnel had a reduction in pain and numbness, as compared to a control group who received no massage.

In my opinion, Carpal Tunnel surgery should be a last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. Many doctors give patients the impression that surgery is their only option (I don’t think that this is intentional, I think that most of the time, it is because they don’t know that other options exist.) Whatever treatment plan you decide on, I implore you to explore all available options in the treatment of your carpal tunnel syndrome.

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