Carpal Tunnel Massage
If you've ever experienced pain, numbness or tingling in your
wrists or hands, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes
that sensation goes away quickly, but knowing more about it can
save you time and trouble if the problem returns. You also may find
that understanding carpal tunnel massage techniques will make it
easier to seek treatment when you need relief.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Your carpal tunnel is the passage that goes from your forearm
through your wrist to the palm of your hand. About the same width
as your thumb, this narrow canal contains nine tendons and one
nerve. If that median nerve gets pinched in the tunnel -- by
swelling from a wrist fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, thyroid
problems, obesity, menopause, diabetes and other risk factors -- it
will register a painful protest.
Usually symptoms occur on the thumb side of your palm, and often
the pins-and-needles feeling or numbness extends to your thumb and
first two or three fingers. Generally the effect is only on your
dominant hand, which makes movement especially awkward. People
sometimes report flapping their hands in an attempt to find relief,
but if the symptoms worsen that technique becomes less
What Can Help
"Wrist splinting and other conservative treatments are more
likely to help you," says the Mayo Clinic, "if you've had only mild
to moderate symptoms for less than 10 months." Surgery is another
option, and so are medications such as corticosteroids or
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Then there are carpal tunnel natural treatments like taking more
frequent breaks when using your wrist, or applying cold compresses
to help reduce swelling in the area. Carpal tunnel massage can also
help you feel better in other areas as well. Various types of
massage not only relax the muscles and tissues in your hands and
wrists, but also provide other benefits.
The Mayo Clinic warns that poor posture can make your shoulders
roll forward, shortening your neck and shoulder muscles. This leads
to compressed nerves in your neck, which can affect your fingers,
hands and wrists.
However, massage can relax and loosen the muscles made sore by
bad posture, providing relaxation for joints and relief of pressure
points. This allows your body to return to more healthy, natural
posture, which can have positive effects for years to come.
Of course, decreased pain is the first and most obvious result
of carpal tunnel massage. But a 2010 study by the Touch Research
Institute at the University of Miami (Florida) School of Medicine
showed that regular massage therapy can also improve the strength
of your grip.
Hot Stone Benefits
In addition, the researchers discovered that people with pain
fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand problems
wound up sleeping better as a result of massage. Hot stone therapy
proved especially effective, because muscles relax under the direct
heat of stones and allow the professional massage therapist to
reach deeper layers of muscle.
Hot stones expand blood vessels, as well, encouraging blood flow
not only in the hands but throughout the entire body. The relief of
chronic pain is enhanced by reduced
stress and deep relaxation, which provides for better health