Do you feel a tingling sensation or pain in your wrist and hand?
Do you experience numbness in your fingers?
Do your hands feel weak and drop things?
If your answers are ‘yes’ to most of those questions, chances are likely that you could be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. CTS affects the median nerve in your hand. This nerve provides feeling in your fingers, hand, and wrist.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What it is, What Causes it, & How to Identify it
The median nerve is housed inside the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist made of tiny carpal bones, and tissue called the ‘transverse carpal ligament.’ When this inch-wide tunnel narrows further, due to the swelling of the surrounding tissue, it puts pressure and squeezes on the median nerve.
What causes CTS?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur due to long term repetitive motions that are a regular part of our lifestyle – like working at a computer for long hours. Diabetes, an imbalanced thyroid gland, and rheumatoid arthritis are also known causes. Hereditary factors also play a role in causing CTS.
What are the symptoms of CTS?
- Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain primarily in the fingers. Tingling sensations may also be felt traveling up the forearm, toward the shoulder.
- Occasional shock-like sensations felt in the fingers
- Pain or tingling that may travel up the forearm toward the shoulder
- Difficulty in performing simple tasks like buttoning shirts. This is due to weakness and clumsiness in the hand. You may also drop things often
- Loss of awareness of your hand’s position and movement, medically called ‘proprioception.’
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Massage & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – How Regular Massage Therapy Can Help Patients
In a nutshell, massage reduces the pressure on the median nerve, by softening and lengthening the surrounding the tissue. This happens mostly due to the improved circulation in the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
If you suffer from CTS, opt for a Deep Tissue Massage. This is a 60-90 minute full body massage with a special emphasis on CTS- affected area. The therapist uses his or her fingers to apply intense pressure to specific points in the areas hand, targetting tense muscles and tissues within the skin.
While the pain relief is instantaneous, the long-term benefits will only be possible with a weekly massage therapy that continues for 4-6 weeks.