Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 
and how massage therapy helps!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition involving entrapment of the median nerve, resulting in pain, burning, numbness and weakness in the arms, wrist and hand. It is one of the most common injuries seen in hospitals and medical offices.

Commonly caused by constant movement of the wrist, neck and/or shoulders, carpal tunnel can also be caused by trauma to the wrist (fracture or break), misalignment of the wrist, or arthritis.

Frequent massage of the hand, wrist, and forearm will often produce a decrease in pain symptoms within a few weeks. Ice might also be helpful to reduce swelling and inflammation.

If the nerve is restricted at the spinal cord (usually in the neck area), the therapist will include work on the shoulders and back in the massage treatments.

Your physician may recommend surgery if you have been feeling wrist pain for an extended amount of time. Always consult with him/her about your symptoms.

How massage helps

Long, deep strokes on the muscles of the forearm are used to help release tight restrictions. Extension movements with the fingers, wrists, and arm are often performed to help increase range of motion.

The therapist will work several muscles in the shoulder and the neck, including rotator cuff muscles, muscles in the armpit, and scalene muscles, located in front and behind the neck.

The work may be painful and cause tingling sensations in the arm.

This DVD, Nerve Mobilization for the Neck, Back, Pelvis, Leg, Arm, Elbow & Wrist Medical Massage 2 DVD Set - Learn 130 Detailed Assessments and Soft Tissue Treatment Techniques Taught By Doug Alexander teaches massage therapy techniques for clients with wrist pain from this syndrome, as well as many other medical nerve issues. 

It also discusses safety precautions and treatment goals for therapy.

This is a video clip of this DVD:



It will quickly teach you stretches, how to give a massage to those with carpal tunnel, and other nerve mobilization techniques for common impingement pain syndromes.

You will learn about how to determine which muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments are involved, according to the symptoms or type of pain (burning, numbness, tingling) you are feeling.

Most therapist will encourage icing the wrists after the session for 15-20 minutes.

Other Resources

Learn Step-by-step exercises for Carpal Tunnel::  http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/ctexercise.htm

The therapist may also introduce good exercises or stretches for carpal tunnel syndrome (like the ones in the massage video clip above) to reduce pain and weakness in the arms and hands.


Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage

Go back to Massage for Pain Syndromes from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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