Topic of the Month
by Thierry Paulin
First of all, what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? To understand CTS, you need to know some information about the structures involved. The Carpal Tunnel is a passage way on the palm side of the wrist that allows nerves, muscles, and blood supply to the hand. CTS is a condition that has resulted from the compression of the median nerve, the nerve that passes from your forearm to your hand via the carpal tunnel.
CTS is usually related to very repetitive motions in the wrist. The first thought that comes to mind is a carpenter or roofer hammering all day, but anything that narrows the carpal tunnel will contribute to CTS. Previous injuries to the wrist, such as sprains or breaks, can also contribute. The reality of the situation is that many things can cause CTS, even typing at a keyboard all day.
There are many symptoms for CTS, but the usual culprits are numbness, tingling, pain, and pain that is worse at night. Though symptoms usually arise in someone’s dominant hand, both wrists may be affected.
So how can massage help? Part of a Massage Therapist’s job is to investigate. By performing various orthopedic tests, we are able to narrow down where your pain may be coming from. This can give you a better idea if your pain is coming from the wrist, elbow, shoulder, or even your neck. From there a treatment plan can be made in order to manage symptoms, and get you back on the road to recovery.
The treatment plan varies from person to person, but in general include the same goals:
A well thought out treatment plan should also include instructions and stretches in order help prevent symptoms from getting worse, and help you manage daily activities, including work.
If you experience any numbness or pain in your wrist(s), go ahead and ask your Registered Massage Therapist, because the best treatment is prevention.
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