Client: “I have to use pens and pencils at my work, a lot. Of late, I’ve been having a cramping pain in the middle of my wrist and it’s been numbing my fingers. When the pain started crawling up my forearms, I went to my doctor. They diagnosed me with ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.’ Can massage help with that?”
Whenever you see the word “carpal,” that means “wrist”. However, sometimes it’s confused with the “metacarpals,” which are in the feet.
The Carpal Tunnel is a pocket, surrounded by the carpal bones. There are eight carpal bones, and they form a ‘U’ shape around this pocket. Inside the pocket lays most of the tendons that control the hands and the medial nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
According to webmd, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome describes a small cluster of symptoms that relate to the medial nerve that goes through the wrist into the hand. The typical symptoms include:
- Numbness and Tingling in the thumb and first two fingers
- Muscle Weakness in the hand
On occasion, untreated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause:
- Cramping in the lower palm of the hand
- Pain into the forearm
The syndrome shows up when there’s pressure on the medial nerve in the tunnel. Usually, it’s caused by tension via repetitive motions of the hand or fingers. This can cause general tension in the forearm tendons and lowered range of motion in the carpal bones. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be caused by illnesses, like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes.
How Can Massage Help?
Massage treatment usually involves stretching and manipulation of the arm from the shoulder to the hand. Most people get a little nervous when therapists start moving the carpal bones around a little, but this allows range of motion to return to the wrist.
There are Massage Therapists who are certified to help individuals with Carpal Tunnel syndrome. It’s recommended to seek out certified therapists if you have been diagnosed with it.
There is an exercise you can try. Take a look: