A Touch of Health - Massage Therapy in Mississauga: Polarity therapy, reflexology, relaxation, detoxification, and healing by a registered massage therapist.
Virginia Hanspiker, Registered Massage Therapist A Touch of Health - Massage Therapy in Mississauga: Reiki, reflexology, relaxation, detoxification, and healing by a registered massage therapist.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a commonly diagnosed condition that results most frequently from repetitive motion strain. Computer keyboards are one of the most guilty culprits, but the workplace doesn’t have to be the only cause. It can also occur during pregnancy from fluid retention, from arthritic forms that cause swelling, a blow to the wrist or lower arm or a hobby that you work too hard and fast at - as many knitters can verify. Anything that causes swelling to the muscles and in particular the tendons that attach them to the bone, can cause CTS. The numbness and tingling can run from the hand to the shoulder, is especially noticed at night when activity is reduced, and may result in unusual clumsiness when holding objects.

The cure? Stop that activity! When that’s not possible, something has to be modified. Today, we say “good ergonomics” at the keyboard is vital, meaning proper wrist and arm placement to alleviate the strain on the wrist muscles and tendons. The 9 tendons and more importantly, the median nerve, passing through this area become compressed when the connective tissue swells. When ignored, this somewhat minor irritation snowballs into a big problem (unfortunately, like many things do until we finally listen) which can eventually lead to the doctor recommending not just a nightly splint, but corticosteroid shots, or even surgery. Why wait that long?

Massage therapy has a good success rate in assisting the symptoms of CTS if the cause is adjusted. Massaging the wrist and arm softens the muscle which has contracted from over-use. Releasing the muscle tension reduces the pull on the tendons, decreasing strain and the resultant swelling that compresses the nerve. Stretching the muscle to it’s proper length and strengthening these muscles, along with home care that includes stretches and cold flushes helps prevent re-occurrence. That’s basically the route to follow when you can’t give up the activity entirely. Vitamin B6, acupuncture and physiotherapy have also been used to assist healing when not neglected too long.

 


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© Virginia Hanspiker, 2005
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