Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a disorder that affects the hands, arms and wrists. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve, that is the nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist to the hand.
The pressure causes carpal tunnel syndrome’s typical symptoms, including numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers. CTS may be caused by underlying health problems (like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis), long-term repetitive activity, or simply the anatomy of the wrist.
Symptoms of CTS are most seen in the areas of the hand where the median nerve runs, comprising the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger.
A different nerve controls the pinky finger, so if symptoms do not adversely affect that finger, it may indicate CTS. The onset of carpal tunnel syndrome is usually slow and can worsen over time.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronic condition and might require surgery to deliver full relief. However, various holistic health practices may provide relief of symptoms and be used as a preventative measure to slow down the damaging effects that cause CTS.
Massage therapy is an effective method as a preventative measure and to help relieve CTS-related symptoms and be a.
Massage therapy may help treat CTS by lowering inflammation, pain, and numbness in the carpal tunnel. This is accomplished by lengthening the muscles and fascia in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hand. Deep tissue massage could be used to stimulate trigger points and reduce the tension in the soft tissues of the shoulder, arm, hand and wrist. It can also help increase joint mobility in those areas.
Myofacial cupping on the hand, combined with massage therapy, is another effective way to reduce muscle tension that may contribute to symptoms associated with CTS.
Massage tools can also be very useful in treating CTS, including some full body massage chairs. A full body massage chair can target the nerves in your arms, wrists, and hands to ease your tense muscles and improve your mobility. You’ll find that you have better grip strength and less pain after using massage to treat carpal tunnel.
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.
Reflexology may be able to help provide relief for the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome by releasing the joints in the wrists and reducing the pressure on the median nerve to help it move around freely. The reflexologist can use several techniques and activate various reflexology points in the hand, which may help lessen tension in CTS areas.
Reflexology can also help treat underlying conditions that may be contributing to CTS by reducing inflammation in the body, promoting circulation in the areas affected by CTS, and improving overall client health.
Stretching and Exercises
There are many stretches and exercises that can help reduce and prevent symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Stretching your shoulders and neck can help to prevent CTS by relieving muscle tension in these areas and moving down the arm. Stretching your forearms, wrists, and hands may help treat CTS symptoms by reducing tension and opening the passageway to the median nerve.
There are exercises to help treat CTS symptoms. If you notice your hand or wrist going numb or feeling tingly, take the time to shake your hands out to get instant relief.
Exercises to strengthen the wrist could also help, like stretching it up and down. Frequently making a fist and then fanning out the hand can help strengthen the wrist and reduce CST symptoms. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any exercises or stretches to ensure they are being done properly.
Practicing yoga may stretch areas of the body that are impacted by carpel tunnel syndrome, including the forearms, wrists, and hands. Yoga can also be used as a preventive measure to stretch parts of the body that can contribute to CTS, including the back, neck and shoulders. Tension in those areas can strain the forearms and wrists, contributing to CTS.
The Mayo Clinic cautions that poor posture can make your shoulders roll forward, shortening your neck and shoulder muscles. This can lead to compressed nerves in your neck, which can affect your fingers, hands and wrists.
However, massage can relax and release the muscles made sore by bad posture, offering relaxation for joints and relief of pressure points. This allows your body to return to more healthy, natural posture, that provides positive effects for years to come.
Hot Stone Benefits
The researchers also found that people with pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other hand problems wound up sleeping better as a result of massage. Hot stone therapy has been particularly 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, promoting blood flow not only in the hands but throughout the entire body. Chronic pain relief is enhanced by reduced stress and deep relaxation, which provides for better health overall.