In the United States alone over 8 Million people suffer from carpal tunnel.
It can affect your quality of life, job performance, and the way you spend and enjoy your free time.
So what exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome? And what treatment options are available to you if you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is an entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel “wrist area”.
This entrapment develops as a result of the muscles and tendons in the area becoming hypertonic or swollen. This will cause an irritation to the median nerve, which causes pain.
There are many populations that are prone to Carpal Tunnel.
For example women are three times more likely to have carpal tunnel than men. People with diabetes and thyroid problems are also more susceptible to carpal tunnel as well.
Additionally, there are also many professions that have a high percentage of people suffering from carpal tunnel.
The list includes:
- carpenters, and
to name just a few of the most common professions that experience carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
Symptoms of carpal tunnel may include, but are not limited to pain and numbness in the thumb and first three fingers of the hand.
You may also experience a shooting pain from the hand all the way up to the shoulder may occur.
Many people also experience hands falling asleep during the night.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment Options
There are many options for someone suffering from carpal tunnel.
No matter which option you choose you should address the situation as soon as possible for best results.
Some people will take the path of surgery. This may or may not help improve your pain, but the down fall will be the high expense, time off from work, and a chance that it will not improve your carpal tunnel.
If you decide on anti-inflammatory drugs, or other drugs you run the risk of becoming dependent on them, plus they do not address the cause of your pain. Many people will find relief by using a splint while sleeping to immobilize the muscles that flex the hand.
As a massage therapist it is my belief that deep tissue massage and stretching is the best way to address the cause of carpal tunnel.
Massage can break up scar tissue, relax muscles, and reduce inflammation to the muscles and tendons around the carpal tunnel. I have used massage therapy to facilitate healing for many people that suffer from carpal tunnel.