Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition resulting from the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome can result in symptoms such as numbness, pain, burning, tingling in the wrist and hand (areas where the median nerve innervates.) A predominate distinguishing feature of carpal tunnel syndrome is that it frequently occurs at night.
Anatomy Related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel: Located at the wrist just distal to the wrist crease. This narrow passageway is formed anteriorly by the flexor retinaculum (thick connective tissue) and posteriorly by the carpal bones.
- Median Nerve: One of the five main nerves originating from the brachial plexus. It is formed from fibers from spinal nerves C8 T1 (medial) and C5, 6, 7 (lateral). Primarily the median nerve innervates the flexor muscles in the forearm and hand.
- Other main structures of carpal tunnel: The 4 tendons of flexor digitorum profunds, the 4 tendons of flexor digitorum supericialis, and the tendon of flexor pollicis longus.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome has a wide range of causes. Often carpal tunnel syndrome is a result from a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons.
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Repetitive flexion and extension of the wrist, edema, scar tissue in retinaculum, fluid retention, bony callus development, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, work related stressed on the wrist
- Sports related to CTS include: most racquet sports, hand ball, body building, swimming, golf, rowing
Can Massage Therapy Help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Yes! Massage therapy is highly effective in treatment to relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and can help restore tissue health.
What to Expect From Massage Therapy Treatment:
- Massage therapy treatments focus on techniques to the wrist and hand and address regions of the upper extremity and the neck.
- Goals include reducing edema, fascial restrictions, trigger points, adhesions, compression on the median nerve, hypertonicity.
- Improve tissue health and increase circulation to remove metabolites.
- Maintain range of motion.
- Education on safe and effective remedial exercises including strengthening weak muscles, stretch short muscles, recommend hydrotherapy, education on appropriate posture when preforming activities that aggravate the condition.
Massage therapy is just one treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Other treatment options include acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractors and medical doctors to assist you in your carpal tunnel syndrome recovery! Contact SEMI today to learn how our team can help alleviate pain related to carpal tunnel syndrome.