Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel—a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand—houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers.
- thyroid dysfunction.
- fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause.
- high blood pressure.
- autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- fractures or trauma to the wrist.
If the condition is diagnosed early, nonsurgical methods may help improve carpal tunnel syndrome, including Wrist splinting. A splint that holds your wrist still while you sleep can help relieve nighttime symptoms of tingling and numbness.
- Numbness, tingling, or pain, especially on the thumb side of the hand.
- A false feeling of being shocked, especially affecting the thumb and nearby fingers.
- Pain that radiates toward the shoulder.
- In severe cases, muscles at the base of the thumb become noticeably distorted.
- Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up.
- Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
- With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
- Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
Does massage help carpal tunnel?
If your doctor diagnoses you with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), you may wonder what you can do to help relieve symptoms. The symptoms of this condition include tingling, numbness, and pain that starts in the hand and fingers and radiates up your arm. When there is constant pressure on your median nerve, the main nerve to your hand, you will have pain. Repetitive wrist movements may cause thickening or swelling of your wrist tendons, causing this pressure. Using tools all day, turning a wrench, playing an instrument, sleeping in an awkward position, and poor office ergonomics can contribute to CTS.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENTS FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)
Steroids or anti-inflammatory medications are a traditional treatment for CTS. The help provided by these medicines only lasts for as long as you take the pills. You may have to deal with their side effects too. A doctor may also splint your wrist to limit movement. The splinting helps you to avoid hurting your wrist while sleeping, but it can actually make things worse during the day and increase swelling.
SURGERY FOR CTS
It is common for doctors to prescribe surgery to sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome. The swollen carpal ligament is cut to create space for the median nerve. This reduces the constant compression on that nerve. The surgery is not a magic cure-all that will relieve every CTS symptom. Even after surgery, some people still experience pain, numbness, and tingling. For those who do have a successful surgery, there is no guarantee that the relief will last. This is especially true if you go back to the hobby or work that caused CTS to begin with.
AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: MASSAGE
Massage therapy is not always considered a treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome. But, it has enabled many patients to rid themselves of this condition, or at the very least, has given them significant pain reduction. Massage works to ease CTS symptoms by breaking down scar tissue and any adhesions in the muscles of your wrist and forearm. These are caused by overuse or trauma. Restoring full elasticity to your muscles, reducing friction on inflamed muscles, and allowing you to move your wrist more freely is the goal of massage therapy.
When your wrist is massaged, the practitioner will stretch the ligaments and tendons. This further helps your recovery by relieving the pressure put on the median nerve by those ligaments and tendons. You should experience the elimination of any pain or tingling during the massage.
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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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