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Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?




Have you ever experienced discomfort in the wrist and forearm from too much time typing at your keyboard? Many first thoughts are “Oh no, do I have carpal tunnel syndrome?” CTS is a condition that results from median nerve compression in the carpal tunnel at the wrist. There are many causes for CTS. Among the most prominent causes:

  • Repetitive flexing and extending of the wrist which can lead to swelling and the formation of thickening tissues or chronic fibrosis.

  • Fractures of the wrist. 

  • Systemic conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism. 

  • Many pregnant women  can develop CTS that may not resolve until the postpartum stage. 

  • There is some belief that a vitamin B6 deficiency which results in smaller connective tissues may be a cause as well. 

Depending on the extent of the injury, treatments such as anti-inflammatory’s, steroid injections, splinting and in severe cases, surgery is prescribed. However, sometimes CTS is misdiagnosed. There have been documented cases where surgery failed because the symptoms present in the wrist were caused by issues further up the arm, in the shoulder or at the neck. Common conditions presenting these symptoms are:

  • Pronator Teres Syndrome - a condition in which the median nerve is compressed by muscle but is exacerbated by elbow movement  and pain is felt at the elbow. 

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - involves compression of many nerves of the neck and arm.  






Massage therapy can be a great benefit to those who suffer CTS or any of the other above syndromes. Massage treatments decrease swelling and tension while reducing pain, address adhesions and trigger points and maintain range of motion.

 

If you are experiencing prolonged pain and numbness of the forearm, wrist, thumb or middle/index fingers, you may assuage the pain by running cool or warm water over the area until your next massage appointment with Massage Refresh.

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