Using Massage for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: You Shouldn’t Just Focus on the Wrist


Both women and those who perform many small repetitive movements are at an increased risk for carpal tunnel, so it is no wonder that this syndrome is a plight for many nail techs. With many small repetitive movements, you might begin to notice soreness in your wrist, eventually accompanied by tingling and even pain in your index finger and thumb. Don’t let these early signs of carpal tunnel get past you; the sooner you calm the inflammation of the space which encloses your tendons, the less pain you will have to endure.

Reduced use of the hand, ice, and anti-inflammatory drugs can all help, but massage can also help significantly in treating carpal tunnel. However, having pain in your fingers and wrist does not mean that the problem is inherently in your wrist. As the nerves are connected all the way up your arm and into your neck, the constriction can occur anywhere between your wrist and your neck muscles. There are three main places to target when using massage to relieve carpal tunnel. To know which, if any, of these would be best suited for you, please consult your doctor first.

Often, if the source of the swelling is not in the wrist itself, it is in the forearm near the elbow and can be targeted by gently massaging the inside of the forearm in this region. It is often a sore spot for those with carpal tunnel.

As nail technicians spend a lot of time hunched over a table, the discomfort can also originate in the scalene muscles of the neck and affect the brachial plexus nerves. While only a liscensed massouse should massage this area because it is full of important arteries and nerves, stretching out these muscles in your neck can help carpal tunnel pain. Lightly press your fingers just above the clavicle bone while turning your head back and in the opposite direction.

Another way to relieve the pain of carpal is to push toxins out of the hand. With your spare hand, begin at the fingertips and rub your way towards the wrist. You can also strech out your forearms while still performing this massage for potentially more satisfying results.

Remember that carpal tunnel cannot be cured overnight. Give your hands and wrists a rest every possible moment so that they have a chance to recover and see your doctor if the problem is severe or worsens.

[Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock]
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