Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Introduction

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an increasing problem in a time of computer keyboards and a high demand for fine-motor skills. Carpal Tunnel is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This nerve travels, with nine tendons, through the carpal bones of the wrist called the 'Carpal Tunnel' to the hand and fingers. There is limited space in this tunnel, so any inflammation of the tissues will cause the median nerve to be compressed. At first this may cause only minor irritation, but, over time, it may lead to nerve damage. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can range from moderate to severe, and can, in severe cases, result in paralysis of the wrist. Massage is indicated for treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as it can help promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and aid in the removal of local toxins, all of which can help alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Massage is certainly preferable to the more drastic approaches of anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, or surgery, which may only provide temporary relief.

Carpal Tunnel Types and Symptoms


The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may actually be indicative of other problems. Some are actually even more serious than Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A visit to a medical professional is essential for anyone suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome's symptoms. Though self-treatment may be indicated for CTS, other, related, problems may need the care of a medical professional. Arthritis, muscles spasms, and even heart problems may be mistaken for CTS. Proper diagnosis is the first step to getting proper treatment and avoiding more serious complications.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Muscle Spasms Raynaud's Phenomenon Arthritis Thoratic Outlet Syndrome
Present in some Pregnant women due to fluid retention in the hands. Caused by repetitive motions over a long period of time Numbness tingling or pain in one or both hands Inflammation of joints, pain, difficulty moving, swelling Caused by compression of nerves and blood vessels running down the neck and into the arm
Symptoms include pain numbness, and movement problems especially in the thumb area. Can be caused by typing or other activities involving the hands and wrist Brought on by cold or stress Loss of appetite, fever, loss of energy, anemia, can affect other parts of the body Compression occurs at first rib in front of shoulder
Caused by the swelling of the tendons in the wrist compressing the median nerve symptoms are usually worse at night May be indicated by numbness of thumb and first two fingers Treated with warmth or medications to open the blood vessels. Arthritic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis gout and Osteoarthritis may mimic but not actually be treatable as CTS May be cause by injury or chronic slouching
Treatments suggested include frequent massage use of splints wrist braces and anything to relieve pressure on the wrist tendons Deep muscle massage proper stretching of the muscles and therapy are indicated Sufferers are prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and there may be a connection between the two ailments Involves the inflammation of the lining of joints and/or internal organs Though symptoms mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatments for CTS are useless for Thoratic Outlet Syndrome making proper diagnosis essential

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is marked by pain and weakness in the hand and wrist and may be extremely incapacitating. CTS has been documented as early as the late 1800s and is caused by the compression of the median nerve, which travels through a tunnel in the wrist through the carpal bones. The median nerve is responsible for both touch-related sensory messages to the brain, and is also associated with motion. Compression of the median nerve can lead to pain, numbness, and, eventually, to loss of movement and paralysis of, specifically, the thumb and first two fingers. Compression of the median nerve occurs when there is swelling of the tendons of the wrist and hand. Swelling in these tendons may be caused by retention of fluids in the hands, or rheumatoid arthritis, but is most commonly caused by strain due to repetitive motion of the hands and wrist.

Prevention and Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been treated using Massage therapy. We have had multiple clients recover from their symptoms helping them stay off the operating table. Talk with one of our Client Coordinators about which therapist is best for this treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be prevented by the use of supporting equipment such as wrist braces, and instruction on proper movement, to prevent unnecessary strain to the tendons and ligaments of the hand and wrist. In some cases, where Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by another ailments, prevention may include anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. The key to preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is to learn how to use the body in such a way that the tendons and ligaments are not severely strained.

In serious cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery may be indicated, but this should be used as a last option only. Surgery is, at best, a temporary solution for CTS, and puts the sufferer under the strains of recuperating from the surgery, and the stress of the surgery itself.

As Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by inflammation, anything that will increase circulation, help remove local toxins, and decrease inflammation in the affected area is the key to recovery. Because all of these things are necessary to alleviate the swelling of the tendons in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the most highly suggested treatment for CTS is massage. Doctors also suggest that sufferers of CTS massage the affected area themselves between regular massage treatments. With regular massage a CTS sufferer should feel less pain within a few weeks, and a cessation of all symptoms within a few months.


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