When you think of massage therapy, what comes to mind? Perhaps you consider those aches and pains in your shoulders and neck, or maybe your sore, tired, or swollen legs, or even a way you can cope with excess stress.
However, the therapeutic nature of massage therapy extends far beyond just relieving stiff muscles or alleviating stress and anxiety.
You can actually ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome with massage therapy.
So what exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome? Why do certain people develop carpal tunnel syndrome? And how does massage therapy improve your life if you are dealing with the pain and discomfort of carpal tunnel?
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a fairly common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It causes pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. This happens when there is an increase in pressure in the wrist, which compresses a nerve known as the median nerve, which runs through the wrist.
This median nerve is what allows your thumb, middle finger, index finger and even part of your ring finger to sense things and receive impulses from the brain and nervous system. While it does not affect your small “pinky” finger, carpal tunnel syndrome impacts much of the hand, and beyond the pain and discomfort it causes, it can impact your work and personal life too.
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects as many as 10 million Americans, and while it’s very treatable, many suggested remedies include surgery, painkillers and splints, which are temporary fixes and highly invasive or mask the problem rather than dealing with it.
With carpal tunnel syndrome, not only do you lose range of mobility, but as a result of the pain and stiffness, muscles in the hand and thumb begin to atrophy, and basic skills become harder and harder to accomplish.
What Is the Carpal Tunnel?