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How to Benefit from Carpal Tunnel Massage

by Patty Weasler, RN September 20, 2019 0 Comments

Carpal tunnel massage offers a number of benefits that can aid recovery, reduce pain, and increase flexibility at all stages of the condition. Whether you are seeking help from professional massage therapists or going to try self-massage at home, this treatment can offer noticeable results over the long term. However, it is important to use the right techniques to get the right effect. Read on to learn more, but remember to take precautions and consult with your doctor.

Benefits of Carpal Tunnel Massage Therapy

Massage helps manage carpal tunnel symptoms by breaking down scar tissue in the carpal ligament in the hands and wrist. Over time, this can heal elasticity and reduce friction of the affected muscles, letting it move smoothly through the carpal tunnel. Direct massage to wrist tendons can help relieve pressure on the median nerve to relieve chronic pain and tingling.

  • Increases flexibility
  • Increases range of motion
  • Eases pain
  • Speeds recovery
  • Improved grip strength and hand function

Massage is a long-term solution that takes more than one treatment for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to improve.

Carpal Tunnel Massage Techniques

To enjoy the benefits of carpal tunnel massage, try a few of the techniques below.

Effleurage

Effleurage is a hand massage technique that involves light, circular strokes made with the palm of the hand. The goal is to prepare the muscles and soft tissue for a full massage, lightly warming them up and increasing pliability.

Using light pressure with the palm of the hand, make circular motions down the entire length of the arm from the shoulder to the wrist, hand, and fingers. You can also use oil or pain cream applied to a massage ball.

Deep Tissue Friction Massage

This technique is effective at returning lymphatic flow, breaking up scar tissue, and reducing edema. Start by applying firm pressure in the center of the wrist while gliding up the arm toward the elbow. Move up and down between the elbow and wrist several times. For a more intense massage, use knuckles to apply greater pressure.

Try a lacrosse ball set for a deep pressure massage that saves your hands from wear and strain.

Kneading Massage

Also called petrissage manipulation, a kneading massage improves flexibility, boosts circulation, and allows metabolic residues to return to circulation in the arm. Simply use the palm of the hand to apply a kneading motion in target areas. Start in the shoulder and upper arm, then focus on the thumb and fingers.

Add cryotherapy to your kneading massage for added pain relief that is safe for any skin type.

Shaking Manipulation

Shaking manipulation is a good way to cool-down from a massage and offers pain relief while strengthening atonic muscles. It works by confusing the sensory receptors in your arm so your muscles loosen and relax. All you have to do is gently shake your arm for 30 seconds, and is best used after other massage techniques.

Another simple way to treat carpal tunnel pain and help muscles relax are TENS units.

Using Massage with Cold & Hot Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is a good compliment to massage. Heat causes the muscles to relax, making them more pliable and easier to work. Cold therapy decreases blood flow, which can help manage inflammation as well as pain.

With the help of ice packs or a heating pad, applying hot or cold therapy directly to the site of the massage is simple. A cold massage ball roller can even incorporate temperature therapy during the massage for added convenience. Pain cream can also provide cooling relief, try applying to your hands and wrists prior to massage for extra help managing carpal tunnel pain.

When to Perform Carpal Tunnel Massage

  • Periodically Throughout the Day

    At the outset, it’s difficult to tell how long it will take before the effects of massage will be felt. Carpal tunnel relief can be found in as little as one session or as many as 5 to 10. For the best results, practice carpal tunnel massage throughout the day. If you work on a computer for extended periods, take periodic breaks and try performing light massages.

  • Before Going to Bed

    It’s common for carpal tunnel symptoms to occur at night. Try performing a few minutes of massage prior to going to sleep to help keep nightly symptoms at bay.

  • Before Carpal Tunnel Stretches & Exercises

    Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel may be more effective and easier to perform if you begin by massaging your hands, wrists and forearms. These techniques will help to loosen and warm up tight muscles, making your ligaments more flexible and pliable.

All of these massage techniques are designed for daily use, though they should be stopped immediately if they result in pain or other negative symptoms. If symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome persist, talk to your physician about next steps.

Practicing Safe Massage Therapy

To ensure you are making the most of your treatment, talk to your doctor first.The right massage treatment is a good way to manage pain and stiffness in the short term, and can be a good way to support other long-term options. You can learn more about other carpal tunnel solutions here:

Sources:

https://www.wikihow.com/Release-Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-With-Massage-Therapy

https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/2899/massage-carpal-tunnel-syndrome

SHOP CARPAL TUNNEL PRODUCTS
Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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