Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that affects the median nerve that goes through the wrist. It causes tingling, numbness and pain to the area, which can lead to weakness of the hand and fingers.
The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the thumb side of the hand. The area where this nerve enters the hand is called carpal tunnel, which is normally a very narrow tunnel. Any swelling or inflammation of this area can pinch the nerve, which causes the carpal tunnel syndrome.
The main cause for the carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive motion of the hands and wrist. Most people usually develop by spending too much time on the computer typing, but it is also common to develop it by writing, driving, sewing, painting, playing some musical instruments, playing some sports (like racquet ball or handball) or using some hand tools.
This condition affects more women than man, and it is usually between the ages of 30 and 60 years old. But with the insertion of technology in the modern life, people are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome at younger ages.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of the carpal tunnel syndrome are pain on the wrist or hand, numbness or tingling in the thumb, pain extending to the elbow, problems with fine movement or coordination, weak hand grip or difficulty carrying bags and wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (usually only in advanced cases).
Wearing a splint at night to sleep can help in beginning cases. While sleeping, sometimes we end up sleeping on our wrists without noticing, so wearing a splint will protect the wrists from bending. If this doesn’t help and you still experience continuous pain, wearing the splits during the day is recommended. Hot and cold compresses also will help alleviate the pain and the inflammation.
If the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome is typing on the computer, it is recommended that you check your posture when in the computer, making sure the keyboard is in the right height and low enough so the wrists are not bending upward when typing, and also buying a cushioned mouse pad will help.
Depending on the severity of the case, doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation or even surgery. But a non-invasive, effective way to treat is with massage.
Massage & Carpal Tunnel
The carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the nerve, so massage in the area will help by promoting the circulation and also will reduce the inflammation. It will also aid the removal of toxins and soothe the irritated muscles and tendons.
The use of thorough and frequent massage on the hand and anterior musculature, wrists and forearm flexors should reduce the pain in just a few sessions, and clinical restoration of function could be observed after a few months. Long gliding strokes, with special attention to tendons, along with stretching and range of motion exercises are very effective in the treatment. If the muscle is constricted where it leaves the spinal area, massage on the shoulder area and upper back is recommended.
Although massage is one of the best non-invasive treatments, if symptoms persists or worsen, consult a physician immediately, further damage might have already occurred to the median nerve. It is advised to try anything other than surgery to reverse the problem, but depending on the severity of the case, sometimes it is your last resort.
Visit us at Gen Spa, our staff is trained to treat carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments your body might have.
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