While advances in modern-day technology such as computers, iPads and assembly line machinery have made our jobs much easier than ever before; they can be responsible for a host of health issues. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common forms of repetitive stress injury (RSI) that affects the hands and fingers that is often associated with use of these devices.
What Is The Carpal Tunnel
The carpal tunnel is a path through the wrist that holds many vital structures such as your median nerve, arteries and veins. It also carries tendons that are responsible for contraction of the wrist and fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) – Causes & Risk Factors
Any repetitive movements that put pressure on your wrist, forearm and hand can eventually result in the development of CTS. In many cases, there is no single cause of CTS; it may be a result of a combination of multiple risk factors. Although these risk factors may not be linked directly with the development of this condition, they may increase your chances of aggravating the median nerve. Let’s have a look at some of the risk factors associated with CTS:
- heredity – up to 50% of CTS cases can be heredity
- anatomy – the shape, size, and structure of your hands, fingers, and wrist
- sex – more common in women
- injuries/accidents – over-use injuries, swelling, bone fracture, inflammation
- diseases – diabetes and arthritis
- disorder of glands – thyroid or pituitary glands
- kidney failure
Certain individuals such as assembly line workers, musicians, hair stylists, cashiers and office workers may have an increased risk of developing CTS due to repetitive hand or wrist motion over prolonged periods of time.
Signs & Symptoms – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The signs and symptoms associated with CTS often appear when you perform specific actions that involve your wrist and fingers. The symptoms often get worse during the night and may show up in one or both hands. The symptoms often start gradually and as the condition progresses might result in weakness in the thumb and first two fingers. Sometimes it can progress to a point where the individual is unable to hold things like a cup or a glass.
Some symptoms include:
- sharp pain,
- tingling and weakness in the hand or fingers
- pain is more noticeable at night
- arm pain between the hand and elbow
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
A number of treatment options are available for CTS. Patients with mild symptoms can get relief by frequently resting their arm, applying ice/cold therapy, and avoiding strenuous physical activity. Using wrist splints can offer pain relief at night, and NSAIDs and painkillers can also give some temporary relief.
Remedial massage is really effective for most carpal tunnel sufferers, especially in the early stages of the syndrome. We use remedial massage techniques to release the muscles in the forearm and hand, as such reducing pressure from the tendons that run through the carpal tunnel. In order for treatment to work effectively you will also need to take a break from aggravating factors and do home exercises to assist the treatment. Understanding the things that will help and aggravate the symptoms is crucial, the things you can do at home are just as important as remedial massage and other techniques we can provide in the clinic.
If it has been caused by work, we can also offer an ergonomic assessment of your desk or work station and address your work habits to recommend better ways to use your body and reduce the likelihood of the symptoms recurring. Mild to moderate sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome have a great chance of full recovery with treatment. Most sufferers see results from treatment within the first three months.
If you would like to talk to one of our remedial massage therapists in the Melbourne clinic feel free to give us a call.
Melbourne Natural Therapies
Remedial Massage For Carpal Tunnel
Remedial Massage Melbourne
03 9645 9923