Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

By February 7, 2013Pain Info, Blog

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Considering just how often we use how hands (especially our dominant hand) to write, type, or perform every-day activities, it is not surprising that carpal tunnel syndrome is so prevalent.

Lets begin by defining what exactly CTS is: “Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that results from the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. This results in numbness and tingling in the median distribution.”

Common Symptoms include:

  •  numbness and tingling in the thumb and index, middle, and half of the ring finger
  • Usually occurs unilaterally, in the dominant hand
  • Nocturnal dysthesia (waking up at night with numbness and tingling)
  • Local pain (in the hand and wrist area)
  • movements of the wrist are limited by pain

Common acute causes include:

  •  trauma
  • new activity requiring repetitive wrist action

Common chronic causes include:

  •  repetitive wrist actions
  • build-up of scar tissue
  • systemic conditions
  • bony changes due to rheumatoid arthritis

How Massage Therapy can help:

Massage therapy can help to correct bony misalignments caused by traumas, help break-up scar tissue, decrease muscle tightness and restrictions to forearm muscles, and increase circulation through the use of the following techniques:

  •  Joint Mobilizations
  • Cross-fibre Frictions
  • Myofascial Release

Massage therapists can also instruct proper home-care stretches and adjustments to minimize strain on the wrist and increase likelihood of recovery.

If symptoms are also involved in the arm or forearm then pronator teres syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome may be involved. These will be discussed in future posts.


Rattray, F., Ludwig, L. (2000). Clinical Massage Therapy. Toronto, Canada: Talus Incorporated.

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