Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Massage Therapy

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Massage Therapy

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Suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome? Learn how massage therapy can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of this painful condition.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist, resulting in numbness, tingling, and pain. It happens when the median nerve of the hand gets compressed at the wrist, causing inflammation and swelling.

The condition is not limited to those who use their hands in repetitive motions, as it can also affect people who have arthritis, thyroid disorders, or diabetes. If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll be happy to know that massage therapy can help alleviate some of your symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the Most Common Entrapment Neuropathy

Carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects 10 million Americans, according to the American College of Rheumatology, occurs when the median nerve running from the forearm to the palm becomes pinched at the wrist. Several different factors, including the anatomy of the wrist and patterns of hand use, can cause it. It can also result from underlying causes, including everything thing from arthritis to diabetes.

While symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome begin gradually with feelings of tingling, numbness, and itching, the condition can eventually lead to decreased muscle strength and the inability to perform certain manual tasks. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can subsequently result in the wasting away of thumb muscles. Some people even lose the ability to determine hot and cold by touch!

1) How Massage Therapy Helps with CTS:

Massage therapy is an effective treatment option for people suffering from CTS. The therapist will apply pressure to the affected area, which promotes circulation, reduces inflammation, and helps alleviate pain. Massage therapy helps decrease the compression on the median nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Be sure to find a licensed massage therapist who has experience treating CTS to ensure that you get the right treatment.

2) Types of Massage Techniques for CTS:

The right type of massage treatment for CTS depends on the individual. Your experienced massage therapist may recommend different techniques, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, or myofascial release massage. Speak to your therapist about your symptoms, and they will tailor the treatment to your needs.

3) Other beneficial treatments for CTS:

There are other complementary treatments that can help augment a massage therapy treatment plan. Chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and acupuncture can all be useful in treating CTS. Combining these treatments can maximize pain relief and give better overall results.

4) Self-Care Tips for Managing CTS:

In addition to massage therapy treatments, there are also some effective self-care tips that you can practice to manage CTS. These tips include making ergonomic adjustments to your workspace, performing regular stretching exercises, avoiding handheld devices that require repetitive motions, and wearing wrist splints. These tips can help improve your symptoms and reduce the chances of recurrence.

5) When To Seek Medical Attention:

Medical Massage therapy is an excellent complementary treatment for CTS, but it’s important to understand that it doesn’t necessarily cure the condition. If you experience persistent symptoms of CTS, such as numbness or weakness in your fingers, you must seek medical attention from a medical professional. Your doctor may prescribe alternative treatment options and may offer further testing to diagnose the root cause of your symptoms.

Massage Therapy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome respond well to massage therapy. Scientists at the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institutes have determined that “Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened and grip strength increased following massage therapy.”

As with other massage therapy applications, several different techniques can be employed during manual therapy of the hand and forearm — all aimed at breaking down scar tissue, restoring full elasticity to muscles, easing friction in inflamed areas, and supporting and strengthening the flexors and extensors of the wrist, hand, and fingers. The result? Not only the alleviation of symptoms but also critical pain relief.


Massage therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and effective treatment option for people dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome. Massage therapy reduces inflammation, promotes circulation, and helps with pain management, allowing the nerve to heal and function better.

Massage therapy combined with other complementary treatments like chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and acupuncture can be powerful in managing symptoms of CTS. If you’re dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, speak to your licensed massage therapist to see how they can help alleviate your pain and manage your symptoms.

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